Chris Hani Baragwanath Hospital receives Musculoskeletal Ultrasound Machine

A donation of Musculoskeletal Ultrasound Machine received by Chris Hani Baragwanath Academic Hospital (CHBAH) will contribute towards improving service delivery in the province.

The machine donated by Pfizer, one of the largest research based pharmaceutical companies, will make a notable difference to the health services that the hospital is offering in treating Rheumatoid Arthritis specifically.

Ultrasound imaging uses sound waves to produce pictures of muscles, tendons, ligaments, nerves and joints throughout the body. It is used to help diagnose sprains, strains, tears, trapped nerves, arthritis and other musculoskeletal conditions. Ultrasound is safe, non-invasive, and does not use ionizing radiation.

Furthermore, ultrasound imaging is faster than Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) scan and does not require the patient to remain completely still, allowing infants to be imaged without sedation. It also provides greater internal detail when assessing soft tissue structures such as tendons and nerves.

Receiving the machine, Gauteng Health MEC, Dr Bandile Masuku encouraged partnership between the private sector and government.

The MEC said: “This facility being an academic institution is also a centre of research excellence and innovation, and such a partnership is beneficial not only to the patients that the hospital is serving, but also the staff that work in this unit.”

Dr Nimmisha Govind, Head of Rheumatology said that Musculoskeletal ultrasound (MSUS) has emerged as an invaluable tool in rheumatology practice over the last 2 decades and similar to obstetrics, gynaecology and cardiology, ultrasonography has become an extension of a rheumatologist practice. It is becoming an essential skill for rheumatologists. It has the advantage over other imaging tools for example MRI in that it is portable, convenient, quick and relatively cheap.

She further said: “Last year alone we attended to 2000 Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) patients from Soweto and the surrounding areas. The later patients are diagnosed the more joint damage they experience, so the key to preserving joint function and patient independence is early diagnosis. And that is what Ultrasound offers.”

“Bara is an academic institution affiliated to the University of the Witwatersrand, and a huge motivation and one of the key reasons for having a US housed within our unit is to develop Musculoskeletal (MSK) sonography skills amongst the rheumatologists and trainees not only at Bara but also the other Wits affiliated hospitals,” she added.

Source: Gauteng Province