Estimated reading time: 7 minutes
Delivering kindness by saving various people the hefty cost of a medical procedure, four kind-hearted local doctors in partnership with Mediclinic Newcastle recently joined hands in the Isipho Sothando (the gift of love) campaign.
The medical professionals who sponsored their time and resources include:
- Dr Asgar Ali Sahib, Ophthalmologist/Eye Specialist, provided six cataract surgeries.
- Dr Mpho Tsotetsi, General Practitioner, performed two circumcisions.
- Dr Mahesh Dhanjee, Specialist Urologist and Robotic Surgeon, also provided three circumcisions.
- Dr Ebrahim Vahed supplied Anaesthesia for Dr Sahib and Dr Hlongwane.
- Dr Simphiwe Mbonani who also assisted Dr Sahib as Anaesthetist in some of the procedures.
Embellishing on why he got involved in the campaign, Dr Sahib explains, “When I was approached by Mediclinic Newcastle to assist six visually impaired, less fortunate patients, I jumped at the opportunity. We cannot help everyone, but I believe everyone can help someone.”
Adding that, as individuals, he feels we can all make a difference in so many ways. “We just need to keep our eyes open for opportunities, no matter how small. In the spirit of Ubuntu, we should accept every chance we get to do something good.”
As a medical professional, Dr Sahib highlights that the importance of giving back to the community cannot be overemphasised. “By giving back you are able to better the lives of those around you. I believe that the meaning of life doesn’t come from what you get, it’s rather from what you give. Helping the less fortunate makes me grateful for what I have. I always imagine what it must be like to be on the other side.”
From his surgeries, the patients saved well over R120 000, including Dr Sahib’s expertise, the anaesthesia and the hospital costs.
Showcasing his commitment, Dr Sahib went as far as to arrange with some of Mediclinic Newcastle’s service providers to supply their consumables for free, ensuring the campaign was a success.
Offering a valuable message to Newcastillians the doctor says. “To the community, I would like to say, appreciate your eyes and take care of your eyes. You only have two and the second is not a spare. Even the loss of one eye is devastating; due the loss of binocular vision and depth perception. Protect and shield your eyes when drilling, hammering, grinding etc. Protect your eyes during contact sport. Lastly, take care of your health, as all aspects of poor health impact negatively on one’s eyes.”
Passionate about the community and Isipho Sothando campaign alike, Dr Tsotetsi adds, “It is of high importance to me to give back to the community because it is the same community I grew up in. They say it takes a village to raise a child and I believe this community contributed to me being raised from a boy to a man, this is also the same community that is supporting our work.”
In addition, the doctor elaborates further by stating that the name Isipho Sothando says it all. “It is the gift of love, we love our community and we’re giving the love to the community. I always involve myself in community projects because I have a strong belief that all we’ve achieved is because of the support we’re getting from our communities.”
Looking at the costs saved, Dr Tsotetsi says the total cost for each operation comes in at approximately R9000, saving patients in need an otherwise unaffordable procedure.
Closing off, the doctor highlights, “There’ll be more of these projects in the future, people must just avail themselves. I would also like to encourage all community members from 18 years and above to go for their Covid 19 vaccines as the Country is battling to achieve herd immunity, it is the only way we can slowly return to normality, I’ve already received my jab, please go for yours.”
Moreover, Dr Vahed announces that in the spirit of Ubuntu, we are of the community, part of a community and will be nothing without the community. Considering this, he stresses, “Caring for the underprivileged is part of that.”
It is through these sentiments and his dedication to people that Dr Vahed joined the Isipho Sothando campaign. “I’m in a privileged position of having had an education, a career, a job. A calling. And not everyone is as fortunate as I have been.”
Further noting that at least R20 000 per patient was saved during the Isipho Sothando campaign from his side.
As a household name in urology throughout the region, Dr Dhanjee explained that the Newcastle community had placed immense trust in him throughout the years. Due to this, he felt it pivitol that he gives back to the community, assisting those who really needed it and could not afford the necessary procedures.
Moreover, as he is on the Board of Directors at Mediclinic Newcastle, Dr Dhanjee stresses it was imperative for him personally and the private hospital to be involved in the multi-level beneficial campaign.
Just with his procedures, he adds, “The patients saved between R8 000 to R10 000 per circumcision, which includes my fee, the anaesthesia and hospital fees. For the people we assisted, this makes a massive difference.”
When looking at State medical facilities, Dr Dhanjee explains that patients are often put on an extensive waiting list, which the Isipho Sothando campaign removed, allowing them to get their procedures done timeously.
Having performed numerous procedures, the doctor states that this initiative was initially meant for Mandela Day. However, it was put on hold due to the civil unrest that broke out in July. “But, we revived it as we wanted to show that the hospital is aware of people’s current situation and we care about the community.”
Closing off, Dr Dhanjee reminds people to get their COVID-19 vaccine and help curb the spread of the virus.
Home to an ever-expanding, phenomenal team, Mediclinic Newcastle played an instrumental role in the campaign, alongside the doctors. With this in mind, Mediclinic Newcastle Hospital General Manager Japie Greyling states, “Mediclinic Newcastle is a hospital in the community for the community. Part of our DNA is to be a beacon of hope and trust for the community. We often partner with our medical practitioners to support community members in need.”
Furthermore, the progressive and committed Greyling concludes by saying that Isipho Sothando (the Gift of Love) is not just a campaign but rather a way of life for them at the hospital. Therefore he says, “I want to thank our surgeons, anaesthetists, staff and other service providers who sacrificed their time and resources to give to the community out of love.”
With the four doctors and Mediclinic Newcastle reaching out to the community, their continuous efforts to help people are saluted.
What are your thoughts? Share your views in the comment section below.
This post and content is sponsored and provided by Mediclinic Newcastle