New ultrasound machine for maternity hospital

South African Muslim Charitable Trust representative Faried Boltman and the head of Mowbray Maternity Hospital’s neonatal unit, Natasha Rhoda, with the new neonatal ultrasound machine.

A charity has donated a new neonatal ultrasound machine to Mowbray Maternity Hospital.

The South African Muslim Charitable Trust (SAMCT), a Durban-based non-profit, officially presented the R800 000 machine to the hospital on Monday April 12. The hospital received it in October last year, but a formal handover was delayed because of Covid-19.

Faried Boltman, from the SAMCT, said the machine had enhanced imaging capabilities. The organisation also donated an ultrasound machine to the hospital in 2012.

Mowbray Maternity now has five ultrasound machine, although the hospital’s CEO, Janine Joemat, said they hoped to replace the older ones with more advanced models, like the one donated by the SAMCT.

Dr Anika van Niekerk, a paediatric cardiologist and neonatal consultant at the hospital, said they did 250 newborn scans every month and during that time expected to see up to 10 babies with congenital cardiac lesions.

“Being in a position to provide a high-quality echocardiography service is essential for the early diagnosis and management of cardiac-affected babies,” she said.

Dr Van Niekerk says the new ultrasound machine will be able to perform the important function of scanning the newborn baby’s heart. “About one in 100 babies may have heart defects, the sooner we find the problem the sooner we can fix it,” she says.

Paediatric cardiologist Dr Anika van Niekerk puts the new neonatal ultrasound machine works through its paces.

The new machine had a touch screen, produced high-quality images and was faster to start up than the older machines at the hospital, she said.

Dr Natasha Rhoda, head of the hospital’s neonatal unit, said they were overwhelmed by the generosity shown by the SAMCT over the past decade.

“The new ultrasound machine has enabled the highest quality images for both echocardiography and cranial ultrasounds, which form the bulk of the diagnostic investigations in our busy unit,” she said.