Cancer Care

Researchers in the Faculty of Health Sciences at Wits working in University­ affiliated hospitals, contributed to the study that found that patients who had their operations and hospital care in ‘COVID-19 free’ areas, had better outcomes. The study by the COVIDSurg Collaborative, led
by the University of Birmingham, comprises experts from over 130 countries, including South Africa. The Collaborative published findings in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

These study findings are applicable to the South African context, in that cancer surgery can safely continue in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic, with protection of both patients and staff, by keeping COVID-19 patients and patients needing cancer surgery separated, by having designated COVID-19 areas in the hospital,” says Dr Rachel Moore, the Johannesburg Hub Lead of the National Institute for Health Research {NIHR) Global Health Research Unit on Global Surgery.

Cancer surgery is essential surgery and was thus {and continues to be) consistently prioritised, even during the peak in COVID-19 numbers in Gauteng. This study has shown, for the first lime, that hospitals around the world can continue safe surgery by setting up ‘COVID-19 free’ areas to minimise the risk from the coronavirus.

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