Honour for local doctor

2017-04-18 10:00
Professor Anthony Figaji

Professor Anthony Figaji

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The Red Cross War Memorial Children’s Hospital in Rondebosch has made history for itself by producing the new president of a world head injury society.

The hospital’s Professor Anthony Figaji has been elected as president by the International Neurotrauma Society. The society’s 12th international symposium was hosted in Cape Town last year.

Figaji is the head of the paediatric neurosurgery department at the hospital.

It has been reported that Figaji and his team had developed advanced monitoring systems for the brain and the management of head injuries and have a world-class, technologically advanced setup for managing patients with head injuries.

Figaji has also built an international reputation for the management of head injuries.

The children’s hospital admits more than 1000 children a year who suffer from serious head injuries.

The risk of a child dying due to such an injury is about 6 to 7 times higher here than for that of a similarly aged child in the United States.

Nomafrench Mbombo, provincial health minister, has congratulated Figaji and the hospital.

She says: “Indeed, injuries are a great cause of death among children and we need to come up with innovative ideas on how we can manage such cases successfully. I would like to urge parents to take extra good care of their children so that we can avoid any injuries that may occur.”

Figaji says: “Head injury is the leading cause of death of children and young adults in developed countries. The absolute number of head injuries is much greater in developing countries, which is a massive problem in African countries that very few people pay attention to, and there are no national strategies for combating this.

“It’s not just the risk of death, it’s also the substantial disability in survivors and other effects on families at large, leading to the loss of income, care where needed and disability grants.”
Though the hospital has a shortage of resources and national funding for this programme, the hospital has been at the forefront of changing the landscape of the “forgotten epidemic”.

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