Staff Nurse, Sonja Botha (right), in training.
Firstly I would like to introduce myself. I’m Sonja Botha. I have been in nursing for the past 11 years. I have a passion for women’s health and I am super excited to be involved in this life changing program. I started at Hlokomela on 19 April 2017 and will be responsible for the women’s health facility. It’s a privilege to report on the latest developments relating to breast cancer screening ultrasounds at Hlokomela in Hoedspruit, Limpopo, South Africa!
In May 2017 I started receiving sonography training from Dr Su Lucas (radiologist) specific to breasts, to enable me to effectively use the ultrasound unit, acquired with your donations through GlobalGiving, in the screening process. It has been a wonderful experience and I enjoy every moment of this amazing program. After I became involved with Hlokomela’s women’s health program, I realised that the need in our communities for this type of screening is huge. This program provides an essential service to people in a community where it was previously unavailable.
At Hlokomela’s first open day on 5 May 2017, the brand new women’s health clinic was introduced to the public. The facility is sponsored by the Tshemba Foundation. The building is situated behind the main wellness clinic and has 2 consultation rooms, a kitchen and a toilet. One of the consultation rooms is our dedicated ultrasound room where we will be doing breast cancer screening for all female patients. This would not be possible without you, our donors! We are investigating the option of making this a paid-for-service for those who can afford to pay, in order to generate some funds to make the project sustainable in the long run.
It is our mission to make this type of early detection screening accessible to each woman who enters our clinics. We have been screening women daily and Dr Su Lucas and I communicate regularly. As our referring doctor, she assists us in diagnosis and confirmations of findings. This enables us to manage follow-ups and refer patients if treatment / further action is required.
During the reporting period we did breast ultrasound scans for 22 patients, 3 of whom were referred to the doctor with abnormalities that were detected during the scan.
Hlokomela staff and ultrasound specialists.
Roof of new Women's Health Facility going up.