The Truth about Obesity: It Starts in the Womb

While most people think obesity starts in childhood, it actually begins a lot earlier. Science now shows that it begins in the womb. If a pregnant woman is obese, the chances of her child being born already overweight is high. An obese or overweight child has a much greater risk of becoming an obese adult. They are more likely to develop diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, ischaemic heart disease and certain cancers than other children, who are the right weight for their age, height and build.

Is obesity really such a big problem?

It is more than a problem, it is a global epidemic. Obesity and overweight accounts for some 2.8 million deaths a year worldwide. In 2016, 1.9 billion adults were overweight. 650 million were obese. It is said that more people now die from being overweight or obese than people who are underweight. We are literally eating ourselves to death.

The number of overweight children under 5 years' old, was, in 2016, estimated to be over 41 million. Nearly half of them lived in Asia and one quarter lived in Africa. Obesity is no longer the disease of upper income bracket, western hemisphere populations. Middle to lower income families across the globe are increasingly joining the ranks of the overweight and obese.
The number of overweight and obese people tripled between 1975 and 2016. We are now in 2018, and nearly one-third of the world's population is obese.

Am I really overweight or just 'cuddly'?

We all tend to think we are carrying 'a little too much', that extra 5 kilograms we need to shed, but what does being overweight or obese really mean? According to the World Health Organisation (WHO) it is an 'abnormal or excessive fat accumulation that may impair health'.

Why is being overweight or obese dangerous?

Apart from the propensity to developing other diseases like diabetes, the body itself is under attack from the fat. Fat does not just sit under the skin, it coats every muscle and organ in your body. Your heart has to work extra hard not just to pump blood around an extremely large body, it has to fight against the layer of fat it is carrying.

Apart from obvious physical characteristics, you can work out whether you are overweight or obese with a simple formula. It's called the BMI or Body Mass Index. You take your weight in kilograms and divide it by the square of your height in metres. The WHO's measurement is:
Overweight – a BMI of equal to or more than 25
Obese – a BMI of equal to or more than 30

If my child is born overweight is there nothing I can do?

Actually, there is. Being born overweight means your child will have a propensity for gaining weight. This is especially concerning as babies are born with a sweet tooth. Feeding that craving will send your child deeper into obesity, lethargy and depression.
However, remember, obesity is created when the calories consumed are greater than the calories expended. A healthy lifestyle with plenty of exercise, especially the sweat-inducing kind, and outdoor activity as opposed to video games on the couch all weekend, will go a long way to expending those calories.

Add a healthy diet packed with vegetables, fruit and small quantities of lean meat and you will set your child up for a healthy future and boost his chances of escaping from obesity.

If you need advice on how to pursue a healthy lifestyle or diet, contact your nearest Lenmed facility and make an appointment to speak to one of our healthcare professionals today.

For more information please contact:
Dr M Du Toit (General Practitioner)
MBChB (US) BSc (Human Life Resources)(US)
Kathu Private Hospital
+27 (0) 53 723 3231

Disclaimer: Any information contained here is merely a guideline. Always visit your healthcare practitioner for any health-related advice or diagnosis.

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The Truth about Stress and Exams

By Dr T Govender 

South Africa is a very competitive environment. With a high unemployment rate and limited access to tertiary education, finding a place in a tertiary education facility is difficult. Places are awarded on exam performance. The better the results, the better the opportunity of selection. As a result, exams are a crucial part of the education process. This makes them a significant source of stress for students. And their parents.

What is the difference between stress and anxiety?

Anxiety is considered to be a mental health disorder. An anxious person is plagued by a constant sense of fear, uneasiness and apprehension even when there is no perceived threat. It may be caused by a chemical imbalance in the brain and is often genetic. This type of anxiety disorder requires treatment from a mental health professional.

Stress is a temporary state of anxiety related to a threat or challenge in the environment. Chronic stress can result in a permanent state of anxiety which can complicate into a myriad of medical and mental health illnesses.

Is exam stress a problem?

Grade twelve results are considered to be the passport to the future. Possible poor study habits throughout the year cause learners and their parents to become very driven, and hyper-focussed, in order to achieve the best outcomes over a short time-frame.

The suicide rate in adolescents is around 10% of those in the general population. This additional exam stress may become a risk factor in a vulnerable teenager. It is imperative that we determine the difference between normal functional stress experienced by learners going through an exam cycle, and the alarm bell sounded by a learner who needs urgent attention from a healthcare professional.

The definition of stress

Stress is a natural response to a challenge or a threat. Cortisol and adrenaline, the stress hormones, are activated which results in a fight or flight response. Stress is not always a negative experience. It is the mechanism with which we adapt to challenges in our environment, whether the challenges are slow-building, long-term stresses or sudden, confrontational ones. These physiological responses can help us improve our performance. Stress can cause you to completely lose control of a situation and be unable to concentrate or it can allow you to remain focused and alert and able to meet the challenge. If used correctly, stress can play a critical role in creating drive and motivation when it comes to study and exams.

Types of stress

There are two types of stress:

Acute episodic stress
This episode of stress is brief and related to a specific event such as writing exams or having too many deadlines or commitments. It is usually self-limiting and passes when the event is over.

Chronic stress
This is a harmful type of stress and lasts for a long time. A child living in a dysfunctional family, struggling with ongoing bullying at school, or an adult with chronic work and financial stress are three examples. Because the body remains in the heightened fight or flight response for a sustained period, the stress itself becomes dangerous. The complications associated with chronic stress include health issues such as worsening hypertension, heart attacks, strokes, gastric ulcers, substance abuse, depression and suicide.

Symptoms of chronic stress

How do you know if you, or your child, has chronic stress? There are four areas in which symptoms reveal themselves.

Cognitive symptoms

  • Difficulty concentrating and short-term memory problems
  • Constant anxiety and a racing of thoughts which are often worse at night and affect sleep
  • Irrational and negative thoughts

Emotional symptoms

  • Irritability and agitation
  • Depressive mood
  • Anxiety state

Physical symptoms

  • Headaches
  • Dizziness
  • Nausea
  • Chest discomfort
  • Irritable bowel (diarrhoea and constipation)
  • Low immunity – resulting in frequent infections

Behavioural symptoms

  • Eating too much or too little
  • Sleeping too much or too little
  • Social withdrawal
  • Substance abuse

These symptoms may or may not result in healthy solutions being sought by the family. Chronic stress and anxiety often result in cognitive challenges. Children often complain of the inability to focus and parents often have a knee-jerk reaction and seek a stimulant to assist their child to focus. It is often unwise to put the child on a course of drugs containing stimulants such as Ritalin at this point. Ritalin can increase anxiety symptoms in children who are not truly ADHD.

Cannabis oil and children – what you need to know

Cannabis oil has had a surge in popularity after it has been recently legalised for medicinal and domestic purposes. However, it is not legal for use by minors. We would advise extreme caution in giving your child any form of cannabis. Irrefutable proof from several scientific studies has demonstrated that cannabis can cause psychosis in individuals that are genetically susceptible, particularly in the vulnerable brain of a child. Your child may become paranoid and even more anxious on cannabis.

How to manage stress

Doctors do not prescribe long term medication for stress. A patient will only need a more permanent medication solution if the stress results in a physical or mental illness.

There are ways to reduce chronic stress without medication

Thankfully, there are non-medication solutions to reducing chronic stress. Here are a few.

Time management skills and organisation
Teaching your child to study correctly throughout the year means that the period just before exams will be revision and will not carry the weight it would otherwise. During the pre-exam revision time, help your child to prepare in advance, create study timetables and to prioritize. This will give them a sense of accomplishment. Teach them to prepare in small increments and not to become overwhelmed by mammoth tasks. Focus on areas of the curriculum that your child needs to improve on.

A healthy brain needs nutritious food. Children should not skip meals, not only from a nutrition point of view but also as a period of important break time. Mealtimes should be used by the student to engage with the family and verbalise their emotions. A healthy, moderately portioned meal will provide sustenance and not lead to over-eating and sleepiness. Avoid sugary foods that may impair concentration.

Exercise should be given equal priority. There are several studies which show exercise can cause a flood of 'feel good hormones' into the brain. Children should be encouraged to engage in a physical activity in their break time. This activity could simply be putting on music and dancing, going for a walk or taking a cycle around the block.

Meditation, Mindfulness, Relaxation and Controlled Breathing
Several studies have shown improved outcomes by using techniques such as mindfulness. It gives a learner an opportunity to relax and refocus for the next study period. Ideally, your child should take a class to learn the art of mindfulness, but apps are available on smart devices. The classes help the student overcome the distracting worry that 'doing nothing' is a waste of time.

Study Groups
Constructive and supervised study groups allow children to develop a support network with which to share their experiences during examinations. A young learner will realise that she is not isolated in and, in fact, everyone else writing the exam feels the same way. That realisation makes your child realise the exam stress is normal.

There is no doubt exams are an extremely stressful period for parents and children alike. It is important to remember, stress is a normal response and, used correctly, can enhance one's performance. Our ability to cope with stress is determined by our constitution, coping skills and environmental exposure. It is important to keep the channels of communication open to assess your child's adaptation to a stressful situation or environment. Pay attention when your child is asking for help or displaying signs of not coping.

If you have any concerns, please make an appointment with your doctor immediately.

For more information please contact:
Dr T Govender (Specialist Psychiatrist)
Ethekwini Hospital and Heart Centre
+27 (0) 31 581 2721

Dr Theshenthree Govender has been in the medical field for the past 19 years. In addition to Dr Govender's consulting from her practices, she also lectures at UKZN Medical School and is an executive on the local South African Society for Psychiatrists. Dr Govender's interests are psychiatry, biopolar mood disorders, psychotic disorders and neuropsychiatry

Disclaimer: Any information contained here is merely a guideline. Always visit your healthcare practitioner for any health-related advice or diagnosis.



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Lenmed Works to Mitigate Infection-Risk in its Hospitals with Bluebird

October 2018: Hospital infection prevention and appropriate antibiotic prescribing is being proactively addressed by the Lenmed Group.

Ideally, infections should never be acquired during a hospital admission. Worldwide, healthcare acquired infections remain a major risk to patient safety, a risk which is exacerbated by the increasing number of bacteria that are now resistant to antibiotics. As explained by the Director-General of Health, Ms Precious Matsoso, "Antimicrobial resistance (AMR) is a major global public health crisis. In the case of bacterial infections, decades-long overuse of antibiotics has resulted in a tipping point, where the world finds itself on the brink of a 'post-antibiotic' era and we will lose the benefits of these medicines entirely"

The Lenmed Group Chief Medical Officer, Dr Nilesh Patel, says "Because we understand the importance of infection prevention in making our hospitals as safe as possible and after diligently assessing competing products, Lenmed made the decision to implement Bluebird, an organizational tool that has successfully institutionalized the principles outlined by the Ministry of Health at more than 60 hospitals in both the private and public sectors in Southern Africa. We believe that Bluebird will facilitate our multi-disciplinary approach to patient care and help prioritize at-risk patients and improve patient safety. Importantly, Bluebird has been shown to integrate well with our SAP hospital information system and has proven successful across a wide range of healthcare facilities from tertiary referral hospitals to smaller community hospitals.

According to Dr. Darryl Vine, Bluebird is an organizational tool designed from the ground up to incorporate international best practice including the standards published by the American CDC and the Australian ACSQHC and helps optimize patient safety and limit the emergence of resistant pathogens.

A multidisciplinary team (Nurses, Physicians, Microbiologists, Pharmacists and Hospital Managers) is needed for effective infection control and antimicrobial stewardship. Bluebird maximizes the clinical efficiency of this team thus helping a health facility accomplish more. Bluebird's intuitive interface and advanced training programs facilitate smooth on boarding. Comprehensive, patient information is available on an iPad which can be used at the patient's bedside and clinicians, including Doctors, have remote access. Because Bluebird is cloud-based, minimal hospital IT resources are required.

Dr Patel emphasizes the importance of the group's leadership team being able to monitor the entire group's infection prevention and antibiotic stewardship initiatives in real time and the ability to quickly access the management reports needed to inform both group and regional policies. Championing exceptional patient experiences and clinical outcomes is central to Lenmed's vision and Clinical Governance tools like Bluebird, enable us to champion exceptional clinical outcomes through:

• A reduction in avoidable infections,
• More appropriate antibiotic use,
• A reduction in resistant bacteria across the group and ultimately leading to
• A decreased average length of hospital stay.

For any further information, please contact the Lenmed Group Marketing & Communications Manager: Michelle Naidoo on 087 087 0610 or

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What to do with Your Medication

It is important to know what to do with your medication. The first thing to know is what medication you are taking and why you are taking it. If your doctor has not been clear enough, speak to your pharmacist when getting the prescription filled.

Next, you need to understand how important it is to finish the entire course of any medication prescribed by your doctor and to take it as instructed. Do not stop taking it just because you feel better. The entire course is needed to not only surpress the symptoms but clear the disease. If you stop halfway, the cause of the disease will not have been dealt with and your symptoms may easily recur.

While you are on medication, it is vital to keep it out of reach of the inquisitive fingers of children. Children are unable to differentiate between medication and sweets. Their curiosity alone will often drive them to try the 'sweets' they see you taking every day. After all, in their minds the fact that you take it every day means it must be good – the same way they see sweets as 'good'. Medication is prescribed for very specific illnesses and in very specific doses. Your child's system is not strong enough to cope with dosages given to adults and the medication itself may be poisonous to their system. Make sure the medication is both out of reach and stored away safely.

If you have to travel with your medication and you may need it in an emergency, make sure it is within easy reach and that people you are travelling with are aware of your need and can administer the medication to you if you are incapable of doing it yourself. You may require a doctor's letter if you are flying and need to have the medication with you on the airplane. Find out about this before you even book your ticket.

Did you know that a pharmacy will safely dispose of any medication or substance for you? Do not flush it down the toilet as this will poison the water system.

If you come across a packet or bottle with an unknown or known poison in, pack it carefully into a plastic bag and seal it tightly. This will ensure the substance will not spill out on your way to the pharmacy. Having the pharmacy dispose of your leftover or expired medication as well as other possibly poisonous substances will remove the risk of a child or a pet ingesting it accidentally. As the pharmacy follows strict disposal rules, you also protect the environment. Whatever you do, don't take expired medication.

If you are unsure of how to handle or transport unused or expired medication, ask your pharmacist for advice.
We would like to take this opportunity to take thank all our Pharmacists for their continued dedication to the Lenmed Group.

We would like to take this opportunity to take thank all our Pharmacists for their continued dedication to the Lenmed Group.

Disclaimer: Any information contained here is merely a guideline. Always visit your healthcare practitioner for any health-related advice or diagnosis.

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A Broken Heart - How Emotions can Damage Your Heart’s Health

For many years the idea that someone could die of a broken heart was ridiculed. After all, it was just an emotion, not an actual disease. However, broken heart syndrome, a.k.a. stress-induced cardiomyopathy or takotsubo cardiomyopathy, is now a proven fact. It can strike even if you are healthy.

Because the symptoms and test results are similar, broken heart syndrome can be misdiagnosed as a heart attack. The only difference between the two is that there are no blocked arteries in broken heart syndrome. For a brief moment, a part of your heart enlarges and its pumping action is impaired, while the rest of heart pumps harder to try and compensate. While it can cause severe, short-term heart muscle failure, it is usually treatable. Only in rare cases can it fatal.

What causes broken heart syndrome?

A broken heart is the result of stress. It is now a confirmed fact that there is a direct link between stress and heart disease. Anger and hostility, even short bursts as in road-rage for example are bad for your heart. But, quieter emotions are just as toxic. Long-term loneliness, a divorce, a break-up or physical separation like death of both a partner or a pet, romantic or work betrayal or rejection, retrenchment, being fired, losing your home, being hijacked, or a physical attack - these are just a few things that can cause depression and result in broken heart syndrome.

We think of stress as a high energy release of emotion but people who seem quiet and reserved are just as much at risk. Bottling things up is never a good idea. But neither is yelling and screaming to 'let it all out'.

Balancing your emotions is vital

Of course, no one is ever going to be able to live a life of no ups or downs in their emotions. The trick is having a life of balanced emotions. Learning to deal with emotions is one of the most important things humans can do. Balancing your emotions by talking your problems through with a trusted friend or counsellor, as well as by regular activity, like walking or jogging is vital. As long as your heart rate rises and you end up sweating, you will be well on your way to working off some of your stress.

People who have good emotional health are aware of their thoughts, feelings, and behaviors. They have learned healthy ways to cope with the stress and problems that are a normal part of life. They feel good about themselves and have healthy relationships.

Why is loneliness considered a form of stress?

It is not so much a case of not having a partner but rather, not having a community that results in stress - so much so that social isolation and low levels of social support can put you at risk of heart disease. But, having said that, humans all need community, whether we like to admit it or not.

The world may be a so-called 'global village' but it takes a community to keep hearts healthy. Few of us still live close to our extended families and see them on a regular basis. Few live in the same neighbourhood in which they grew up and where there are generations of neighbours. Few regularly see people outside of their own age-group. A lot of people work at jobs that have little long-term stability and many do not go regularly to a house of worship.

According to researchers these are all things that matter to a far larger degree than was previously thought. Nowadays, things like spending time with your family and friends are considered luxuries. The truth is, these are necessities if you want to have a healthy heart. They should in fact come before diet and exercise.

How to improve your emotional health

Broken Heart Syndrome can be cured. Discovering and dealing with the causes of sadness, stress, and anxiety in your life can help you manage your emotional health. Here are 6 ways to improve your emotional health.

1. Express your feelings in appropriate ways
Let your loved ones know, in an appropriate fashion, if something is bothering you. Home-rage is not going to help anybody. Bear in mind that your family or friends may not be able to help. If they cannot, then speak to your doctor, a religious advisor or a counsellor.

2. Live a balanced life
Develop an attitude of gratitude. Instead of obsessing over work problems or even problems at school or in the family, focus on the positive things in your life. Some people find using a journal useful to remember the good, happy, positive and peaceful things they enjoy. A positive outlook can improve your quality of life and give your health a boost.

3. Make time and let go
Hanging on to the past and old emotional wounds only adds to your depression and stress. It poisons your present and your future, which means you will arrive at your future already stressed. Not a good idea. Find ways to let go. Make time to be happy. Develop new & happy memories and spend time remembering those instead.

4. Develop resilience
Resilient people cope with stress in healthy ways. Resilience can be learnt and built upon. Ways to do this include having social support - a community, keeping a positive view of yourself, accepting change, and keeping things in perspective. A counsellor or therapist can help you achieve this goal.

5. Calm your mind and body
There are a number of different relaxation methods that can help you move from stress to gratitude. Ask your doctor, counsellor or spiritual advisor for advice on which one would benefit you the most.

6. Take care of yourself
Eating badly, not getting any exercise, bad sleeping habits and substance abuse will send you on a downward spiral into depression. Take care of yourself and your emotions by eating healthy meals, exercising, getting enough sleep and staying away from drugs and alcohol.

If you are feeling that stress or depression is ruling your life and you need help, contact your doctor today. Lenmed can help if you do not have a doctor. Contact your nearest Lenmed Private Hospital for more information.

For more information please contact:
Dr M Sebei (Psychiatrist)
MBBCh(Wits) FCPsych(SA)
Randfontein Private Hospital
+27 (0) 11 411 3024

Mr N Babedi (Clinical Psychologist)
B.A. (SW) (UNIN) B.A. Hons (Psyc) Vista
M.Sc(Clinical Psych) Medunsa
Randfontein Private Hospital
+27 (0) 11 411 3024

Disclaimer: Any information contained here is merely a guideline. Always visit your healthcare practitioner for any health-related advice or diagnosis.

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Happy Family, Healthy Family

Happiness is a result of good mental health. In fact, your health depends on your happiness to a far greater degree than most people realise. Good mental health is essential in maintaining good physical health and your family plays a crucial role in keeping each other mentally and therefore physically happy.

Isn't health simply a matter of diet and exercise?

Although a healthy diet and regular exercise play an important part, there are other contributing factors to having a healthy family. There is a saying, 'families that pray together, stay together'. This is also true of families that live together, eat together, play together and plan together.

Eating in front of the TV does not promote family bonding. Instead, it erroneously teaches your children that communication is not important. Families that turn off the television and eat and talk at the dinner table together every day, develop stronger bonds and mentally healthier children.

Families that prepare food together grow healthier children with a good understanding of what constitutes a healthy diet. They also grow up with a good understanding that all chores in the home are there to be shared and not given to a specific person based on their gender. If a child sees his father making dinner, he will grow up not only knowing how to do it, but willing to do it as well.

How important is doing activities together as a family?

Families that play together are also much healthier. This means playing both indoor games and outdoor sports. Playing together in a family teaches your children how to win and lose well, and how to plan and enjoy activities in a safe environment. It teaches them new skills and healthy ways of entertaining themselves. It also teaches them the value and enjoyment of sport and physical activity. If, as a family, you teach your children skills and the thrill of participating in sport, family hikes, or simply exploring a new place together, your children learn the art of finding their own adventures, of being creative and how to compromise. You also expand their horizons by encouraging them to be curious.

What is a family?

Research shows that healthiest of families are made up of multiple generations. Grandparents are important. Elderly people who live with their families live longer and are healthier. Those who live in old-age homes tend to be ill more often, have slower recovery rates and die sooner. The same is true of people of any age. Singles who live alone, and are unhappy, age faster and are more likely to suffer from loneliness - a major cause of any other illnesses. An unhappy mind is also a mind under stress. And stress, as everyone knows, is dangerous to your health.

Why is family so important to your health?

Everyone in a family benefits from being in the family. There is evidence that this form of community creates happiness in each member despite their financial circumstances. People who are in community heal 78% quicker than those who are not. Mentally healthy people, i.e. happy people, are less likely to fall prey to illness, depression or heart disease.

People in families tend not to succumb to Broken Heart Syndrome as they have a support structure which provides companionship, commitment, consolation, courage and the knowledge that they matter. People who feel they do not matter to anyone or suffer from long-term loneliness are more frequent victims of depression and illness.

For more information please contact:

Dr M Sebei (Psychiatrist)
MBBCh(Wits) FCPsych(SA)
Randfontein Private Hospital
+27 (0) 11 411 3024

Mr Nic Babedi (Clinical Psychologist)
B.A. (SW) (UNIN) B.A. Hons (Psyc) Vista
M.Sc(Clinical Psych) Medunsa
Randfontein Private Hospital
+27 (0) 11 411 3024

Disclaimer: Any information contained here is merely a guideline. Always visit your healthcare practitioner for any health-related advice or diagnosis.

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Paediatric Centre of Excellence at Ethekwini Hospital and Heart Centre

The Ethekwini Hospital and Heart Centre in KwaZulu-Natal has a state-of-the-art Paediatric Centre with a 15-member paediatric team representing 11 specialist disciplines. It is the only private health care facility in KwaZulu-Natal that offers Paediatric Cardiac Surgery.

The Paediatric Team

Dr Vinesh Moodley
A highly experienced, veteran paediatrician in paediatric intensive care, paediatric critical care, and general paediatric, newborn and preventive care. He is a firm believer in empowering parents while dispelling myths around children's illness and the judicious use of medicines, especially antibiotics.

Dr Thanusha Naidoo
An experienced Paediatric Specialist, with a special interest in neonatalogy and premature babies, Dr Naidoo provides various other paediatric services such as newborn assessments, vaccinations and management of most paediatric ailments, nutrition and development.

Dr Himal Dama
A paediatric cardiologist specialising in treating babies and children with heart problems, whether congenital or acquired. His areas of special interest include interventional paediatric cardiology and neonatology.

Professor Rob Kinsley
A world-renowned adult and paediatric cardiothoracic surgeon whose special interest is Paediatric Cardiac Surgery. He has been performing open heart surgeries for the past 50 years and has performed over 15 000 of them.

Dr Darshan Reddy
An adult and paediatric cardiothoracic surgeon with a special interest in heart and lung surgery in children. Described as an amazing surgeon whose skills set him apart, he trained in the United States of America, and was mentored by internationally renowned paediatric cardiothoracic surgeons.

Nicolene Moonsamy
A specialist paediatrician and Paediatric Clinical Haematologist, who treats patients with various blood disorders as well as haematological malignancies and paediatric solid tumours. Her special interests include acute leukaemias, brain tumours and neuroblastomas.

Dr Keshnie Moodley
A specialist paediatrician and a sub specialist in paediatric haematology, treating all blood disorders in children, both benign and malignant. Malignant disorders includes childhood leukaemias, lymphomas and solid tumours. Her special interests include childhood leukaemias and the thrombotic/coagulation disorders in blood.

Dr Ashwini Maharaj
A veteran adult and paediatric general surgeon, whose focus is treating all manner of paediatric surgical conditions from the simplest to most complex. His areas of special interest include neonatology, minimal access laparoscopic and oncology surgery.

Dr Thirona Naicker
A Paediatric Genetics specialist involved in managing genetic disorders and providing medical genetic services to neonates and older children afflicted with congenital disorders, or who have an inherited condition. These specialised services include investigating and making a diagnosis, counselling and management of the children and their families.

Dr Yavini Reddy
An experienced Paediatric Neurologist with special interests in autism, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), epilepsy, developmental delay, learning disability, movement disorders, neurodegenerative and neurogenetic conditions.

Dr Rajeshree Govender
An experienced Paediatric Neurologist with special interests in paediatric epilepsy and demyelinating disorders of the central nervous system in children.

Dr Medeshni Annamalai
A specialist Paediatrician and Paediatric Pulmonologist with an interest in allergy and critical care. Her special interests are managing children with lung and breathing problems, severe respiratory diseases and children with acute and chronic allergic disorders.

Dr Shafeeka Tayob
A Paediatric Endocrinologist experienced in treating children with various disorders of the endocrine system. This includes problems related to the function of the glands and hormones in a child's body. Common conditions seen include diabetes, obesity and disorders related to puberty, growth and the thyroid.

Dr Suveena Bisetty
A Specialist Paediatrician, Gastroenterologist and Hepatologist who specifically attends to children with liver, nutritional and gastrointestinal pathology. Her special interests are in diagnosing and treating children with inflammatory bowel disease, coeliac disease, constipation, allergic colitis, coeliac disease and congenital diseases of the liver.

Dr Elaene Naicker
An experienced paediatric nephrologist specialising in various congenital and acquired renal (kidney) diseases. Some of the common kidney-related conditions include hydronephrosis, nephrotic syndrome, urinary tract infections, hypertension, acute and chronic renal failure.

For more information please contact the Ethekwini Hospital and Heart Centre on +27 31 581 2400 or via email on

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How to Keep Your Family Mentally Healthy on a Budget in Winter

The cold days, weeks and months of winter can turn anyone into a couch potato. Despite your best intentions, staying indoors and keeping warm is far more appealing than...well, almost anything.

However, after four months of winter hibernation you may find your mental health starting to suffer. The depression that sets in over winter is a very real thing. It should be avoided at all costs. There's no reason why you should come out of winter depressed and sad. You could in fact, bounce out happy and full of joy and excitement.

Here are 5 things you can do to have a happy and healthy winter

1. Eat healthy meals

While thick potato-filled stews are delicious and filling, try to limit the amount of starch you have in your diet. For example, if you have potato in a stew, don't have rice as well. Try to always have fresh greens to accompany your meals. Make your salads interesting and full of texture. Don't indulge in too many hot sweet drinks. Enjoy the delicious, warm treat only on occasion. Don't forget to drink as much water in winter as you do in summer. If you are finding it hard to drink cold water on the chilliest winter days, have it as a hot drink and add a few slices of lemon. If you can, add a teaspoon of honey to sweeten it. Now you have drink which keeps you warm and provides a dose of immunity-building vitamin C.

2. Get plenty of exercise

Exercise is not only good for you in terms of keeping you fit and trim, but it also keeps you warm. It's not only sweating while you're exercising vigorously that makes you warm, but your heart stays healthy so it can pump warm blood around your body better, keeping you generally warmer than if you don't exercise. Getting out and getting active also releases 'feel-good' endorphins in your body. Never underestimate the power of endorphins! When you feel good, your attitude improves. A good attitude keeps the blues away and that's important during winter.

3. Be creative about being indoors

When you have children, being cooped up indoors together for long stretches of time, can sometimes result in the worst behaviour in everyone. It's time to get creative. Search the internet for good ideas the whole family can do together while you're all indoors. Try something new. You may be surprised at how enjoyable learning a new game or skill can be.

4. Go out - indoors

Winter is a great time to visit places you've never been before. If budget is an issue, search the internet for fun, free, or at least reasonably priced, places to go. Become a tourist in your own city. Whatever you do, make sure it gets you and your family out of the house.

5. Back to the future

Winter can seem endless, so it's a good time to start making plans for when summer rolls around. Not only does it remind you that winter will pass, but it keeps your spirits up by making plans for the future. Planning fun things to do together go a long way to building a positive attitude during the cold months.

If you find, despite everything, you are still struggling during the cold months and you can't shake the depression when summer finally arrives, don't wait before you are sunk deep in depression, contact your nearest Lenmed Hospital for help.

Disclaimer: Any information contained here is merely a guideline. Always visit your healthcare practitioner for any health-related advice or diagnosis.

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How do You Know You are Depressed?

There are times when you're just not coping. There may be a crisis at work that never seems to end or tough times in your personal life that just seem to go on forever. Frustration, irritation, anger and stress are often symptoms. Usually though, once the crisis has passed and you've been able to take some time out and relax you find you are able to cope once more. It's when you never seem to get back on top that you may be in trouble, and not coping turns into depression.

Depression is highly destructive. You can look calm on the outside but inside you're screaming. Depression eats away at you, each day it seems to get worse and worse and your ability to cope is no longer there.

Depression is also one of those mental health issues most people won't get help for until the situation has become so unbearable, that they are struggling with even darker thoughts. This isn't healthy. Getting help is not a sign of weakness. It's actually a sign of getting your life back under control.

But, how do you know if you are merely stressed or sliding into depression and need medical help? Remember, medical intervention doesn't mean that prescription drugs are the only answer. A good counsellor maybe the best person to help you.

Here are 7 signs that you may be suffering from depression.

1. You are always sad

If someone asks you why you feel so sad, you can't tell them. You have no real reason, you just are. That awful hollow, empty feeling is overwhelming.

2. You can't control your weight

Some people put on weight while others lose it when they are depressed. If your weight is fluctuating, and you seem to have no control over it, especially if it's been happening over a long period of time, you may be depressed. Comfort eating is a symptom not a solution. The weight you put on when you comfort eat will, in the long run, make you feel even worse and probably guilty. All of which feeds your depression.

3. Your sleep patterns are irregular

If you are not getting the sleep you need, you will become tired and irritable. The fall-out from not being able to function correctly due to tiredness will impact your mental health and deepen your depression. Lost or disrupted sleep for more than two consecutive weeks is a sign that you may need help.

4. Your attitude has become negative

While your situation may, in reality, be a difficult one, a positive attitude can get you through it easily. A negative attitude, however, will cause you to spiral downward quickly. It can be difficult to recover from this as a negative attitude can become a bad habit which is hard to shake, especially if your circumstances haven't changed.

5. Accomplishing simple tasks takes forever

Tasks you used to find simple to do and could accomplish within a short space of time now seem insurmountable and impossible to do. This includes routine tasks like washing the dishes at home as well as your performance at work.

6. You are always tired

Even if your sleep patterns haven't changed you find you have no energy, you are bored, listless and incapable of the slightest spark of enthusiasm for anything anymore.

7. Irritability turns to anger

If you find you are far more irritable than usual and your irritation is turning to anger or worse, rage, you are more than likely in depression and need medical intervention. Your rage affects other people and that's never a good outcome. If you have reached this stage, we advise you to seek help.

If any of these symptoms describe you, or someone you know, please contact the health professionals at your nearest Lenmed Hospital and get your life back under control.

Disclaimer: Any information contained here is merely a guideline. Always visit your healthcare practitioner for any health-related advice or diagnosis.

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The Difference between Depression, Stress and Anxiety

We tend to say that we are anxious, stressed or depressed interchangeably. In terms of a clinical diagnosis though they are three completely separate things. Not all of them require medication for recovery.

So, what is the difference?


Depression is when, no matter what your circumstances, you are constantly sad. You can't shift it and there is no specific reason for your depression. Your eating and sleeping patterns have altered to the point where they are doing you more harm than good. You struggle with feelings of guilt, lack of motivation and exhaustion.


Stress is a result of feeling overwhelmed. You may have been living or working under intense pressure for a very long time. In fact, too long, as far as your mental health is concerned. A certain level of stress enables us to achieve beyond expectation - for a while. But, too much of high-level stress can cause us to fall apart and our coping mechanism ceases to function. We are left drained and exhausted with little ability to bounce back.


If you are convinced something dreadful is going to happen, and are living under a continual sense of dread and fear you are probably suffering from anxiety. It can be crippling. In some cases, it can result in a full-blown phobia.

All three of these can, and often should, be treated by a psychiatrist or a psychologist. A psychiatrist applies an integrated approach to your recovery and this may include counselling, medication or even surgery. A psychologist will assist with your recovery through counselling.

Here are 6 things you should know about depression:

  • Depression may come in after heart disease, cancer and traffic accidents as the most significant cause of suffering and disability. The World Health Organisation has estimated that by 2020 depression will be the 2nd most debilitating factor of the human experience.
  • Depression can be influenced by, among other things, circumstances, an individual's history, drug or alcohol use as well as genetics, disease, hormones, family, work, friends, and unrealistic thinking patterns.
  • If you have been anxious for too long, and these anxieties have impacted on your life, you may be prone to depression.
  • The most common symptoms of depression, worldwide, are both insomnia and loss of energy. It affects women most of all.
  • The greatest recovery comes from therapies which require the person to get moving, to get active, to break the cycle of negative thinking by getting out and getting going. Combined with supportive therapy, this approach has the best and the most lasting result.
  • Ever heard the phrase, 'healthy mind, healthy body'? It is especially true for people suffering from depression. Not getting help when you are depressed can have serious consequences for your physical health. The chance of heart disease for someone who is depressed multiplies. It also opens you up to having a stroke.

Depression is not something to ignore. Are you struggling to cope, or having panic attacks? Do you find yourself avoiding company? Are you feeling demotivated, hopeless and constantly sad? Please don't suffer alone. Talk to the mental health care professionals at your nearest Lenmed Hospital today.

Disclaimer: Any information contained here is merely a guideline. Always visit your healthcare practitioner for any health-related advice or diagnosis.

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What to Expect When You Donate Blood?

It is simpler and easier than you think to be an everyday superhero and literally save lives, while lying comfortably in a chair. Want to know how? Donate blood. Only 1% of South Africans are regular blood donors. To be on the safe side the South African National Blood Service (SANBS) needs to receive 3000 units of blood a day from donors.

Did you know that donated blood only lasts for 42 days? After that it has to be discarded. South Africa usually has only enough blood stock to last a few days. This is why you will see regular blood drives taking place across the country, and why it is so important to become a blood donor.

It's so easy and safe to give blood

There is no need to be afraid of needles. It's the same size needle that is used when you have blood drawn for a blood test ordered by your doctor. All you will feel is a little prick and you may have a small bruise afterwards, but it's really not a big deal.

What to expect when you give blood

You get to relax on a comfy bed or reclining chair while your blood is being drawn. While you may feel a little light headed, your body will bounce back again quickly once it's replenished itself by making more blood. Your body knows how much blood it needs so it will make enough to replace the blood you donate. The Blood Service will never take more than one unit from you at each donation. You won't run out of blood.

While you're giving blood you'll probably be given some fruit juice and even a biscuit or two. This helps with any light-headedness you may experience. But don't be alarmed, that light-headedness is minor and staff will be monitoring you closely.

Do you know if you are a viable blood donor? Don't worry, the staff at every blood drive will ensure you can donate safely before you even lie down on the bed.

Here are the 10 minimum requirements to be a blood donor

  1. First time donors: You must be between 16 and 65 years old.
  2. You must weigh 50kgs or more to donate blood and 55kgs to donate platelets.
  3. You are in good health.
  4. Your lifestyle is low-risk.
  5. You believe your blood is safe for transfusion.
  6. You must have eaten within  4 hours before donating blood.
  7. You haven't donated blood in the last 56 days. If you're donating platelets you can't donate if you have donated platelets in the last 14 days.
  8. Your pulse is between 50-100 regular beats per minute. The Blood Services staff at the Blood Drive will test this for you.
  9. Another thing the Blood Service staff will test is your blood pressure. It must be between 100 and 180 systolic and between 60 and 100 diastolic.
  10. Finally, the staff will check your haemoglobin level. It must be 12.5g/dl or higher.

Here are 5 exceptions where you should not donate blood

  1. You have had surgery in the last 6 months or are going to have an operation in the next 6 weeks.
  2. You are pregnant or are breastfeeding your baby.
  3. You are on medication, including antibiotics.
  4. You live in or have travelled to a malaria area.
  5. You have or have had cancer, heart disease, epilepsy, a bleeding disorder or other chronic medical conditions.

Give blood and save a life. It might be yours

Lenmed's mission is to give life. Why not join us and help give life to others by donating your blood on a regular basis? Make a special effort to donate blood if you have a rare blood type and always be on the lookout for Blood Drives in malls near you.

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Lenmed Hospitals Rated Top 20

The Lenmed Group is proud to announce that Ethekwini Hospital and Heart Centre & Shifa Private Hospital have both been selected among the Top 20 private hospitals in the country. Considering a count of 140 private hospitals throughout South Africa, this achievement is indeed an honour and a true reflection of the values and ethos we embrace every single day at Lenmed. The results used to calculate each hospitals stats are taken from the annual Discovery Health survey upon a patients discharge and measures the quality of nursing & doctor care, pain management, environment as well as information surrounding medication and discharge.

“We would like to congratulate our hospitals for this achievement. I have always been a firm believer that the best constructive feedback we can receive is directly from the patient, and with the results that have earned us the privilege of been counted in the Top 20, I would like to personally thank each and every person who contributed to our patient experience.” Prakash Devchand, Chief Executive Officer and Chairman.

Ethekwini Hospital and Heart Centre

A unique, ultra-sophisticated and digitally integrated hospital north of Durban. The hospital prides itself on being one of the few in the country which offers a transplant program (Heart, Lung & Kidney) and is the only private hospital in Kwazulu Natal that offers much needed services for Paediatric Cardiac Surgery. The hospital also boasts being voted as one of SA’s top hospitals for 3 consecutive years previously.

As the only hospital with a private Paediatric Cardiac Unit in the region, the hospital also has a 13-member multidisciplinary paediatric team representing 10 specialist disciplines including:

  • Paediatric Cardiologist
  • Paediatric Endocrinologist
  • Paediatric General Surgeon
  • Paediatric Nephrologist
  • Paediatric Genetics
  • Paediatric Cardio Thoracic Surgeon
  • General Paediatricians
  • Paediatric Haematologist
  • Paediatric Neurologist
  • Paediatric Pulmonologist

Shifa Private Hospital

Shifa Private Hospital has been serving the community and surrounds of Durban for over 50 years. The hospital boasts a broad range of services and prides itself on its multi-disciplinary approach in the medical field as well as its surgical centre of excellence. The hospital is fully equipped with a 24 hour accident and emergency unit, intensive care units and 3 theatres with the latest state-of-the-art technology. The hospital is always striving to deliver professional and excellent patient care to patients and their loved ones and is currently undergoing extensive refurbishments which will further elevate our patient experience in Lenmed hospitals.

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7 Surefire Ways Men Can Prevent Common Health Problems

Men’s Health Month is in June. The fact that there is awareness around men’s health must mean it is an issue.

Did you know? In South Africa TB affects significantly more men than women. There are over 9-million new cases a year and at least 1.5-million people die from the disease. It is now the world's leading cause of death even over AIDS.

To prevent getting any illness men should stick to these 7 health practices:

1. Get Checked

You should get a full physical check-up every 2 years for early detection of health problems. The 6 most important things to be tested for are:

Diabetes – If you are overweight by 10 to 15kgs

Sexually Transmitted Diseases – If your lifestyle puts you at risk

Cholesterol – High cholesterol puts you at risk for heart disease

Blood pressure – If it’s too high you’re at high risk of having a stroke

Prostate cancer – It can be successfully treated if caught early

TB – A common disease in South Africa

2. Don't Smoke

Did you know that smokers are 20 times more likely to get a lung disease than non-smokers? There is conclusive evidence that smoking causes heart disease, cancer and stroke. If you are struggling to quit, ask your doctor for help.

3. Limit Alcohol

It’s okay to drink alcohol but do it in moderation. A rule of thumb is 2 drinks a day for men 65 years or younger and 1 drink a day for men over the age of 65. Drinking too much alcohol can increase your chances of getting liver cancer as well as pushing your blood pressure up. Plus, there’s the risk of becoming addicted to alcohol.

4. Eat Well

Eating a nutritious diet is important if you want to remain healthy. Choose vegetables, fruits, whole grains, high-fibre foods and lean sources of protein, such as fish and chicken. Limit foods high in saturated fat (like margarine) and sodium (salt).

5. Keep A Healthy Weight

When men gain weight they generally do it around their torso. Heard the term “beer belly”? This is fat which is stored in and around the belly. It can be dangerous and ultimately lead to heart diseases and heart attacks. Losing the excess kilos and keeping them off lowers your risk of heart disease, cancer and Type-2 diabetes.

6. Do Away With Stress

Learn to manage your stress levels. Too much stress can lower your immunity system and make you sick. It can also play havoc with your sleep, and too little sleep can make you tired and depressed, therefore affecting your mental health.

7. Get Active

Find a form of exercise that suits your lifestyle. It’s important to chose something you can enjoy. If you like doing it, there is a very good chance you will continue doing it and get better at it. Exercise helps keep you healthy and well in so many ways, such as:

a. Makes you fit and strong

b. Provides oxygen and nutrients to your body making your cardiovascular system more efficient

c. Gives you more energy

d. Lowers blood pressure and cholesterol

e. Improves your mood

f. Helps you sleep well

g. Improves your skin

h. Lowers your risk of getting cancer and diabetes

Most importantly, don't wait until something is seriously wrong before visiting a doctor. Medical check-ups will not only help in preventing health problems, they may even save your life.

Follow doctor's orders if you have any health-related issues, such as high cholesterol, high blood pressure or diabetes. Find out from your doctor when you should have cancer screenings and other health checks.

Lenmed offers highly qualified doctors who are fully equipped to give you a full health assessment. Find a doctor in your area easily on our website.

Disclaimer: Any information contained here is merely a guideline. Always visit your healthcare practitioner for any health-related advice or diagnosis.

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What’s So Great About Blood Anyway?

Why is blood critical for life?

If need be you can have a machine breathe for you, clean out your kidneys, keep your heart pumping or even transmit audio waves into sounds your brain can hear. But you can’t have a machine make blood for you. Blood is extremely valuable. Every human has almost 5 litres of blood coursing through their bodies. It forms 7% of a human’s weight.

There are a number of functions only blood can carry out in your body. Here are the 6 most important.

1. Without blood, your body’s tissues asphyxiate. They would literally die from lack of oxygen. The haemoglobin in the blood carries oxygen from the heart and lungs to your tissues. Once it’s delivered its oxygen payload it then collects the CO2 exhaled by the lungs and carries to the heart to be turned into oxygen.

2. Without blood, your body’s cells would starve. Your gut breaks down all the food you eat. The capillaries inside the gut absorb all the nutrients out of the food and send it through the portal vein to the liver. The liver then puts all those nutrients into the blood and sends it to all of the cells in your body.

3. Without blood, your body wouldn’t survive a paper cut. Your blood is made up of plasma, platelets, red and white blood cells. And all 4 are vital. It’s the plasma that stops you from bleeding to death from a paper cut. There are factors in the plasma that cause it to clot, plugging small tears, keeping the pressure in the blood to remain constant. Obviously, if the wound is too large, the clotting can’t cope. A human shouldn’t lose more than 15 to 30% of their blood. After that it becomes life-threatening.

4. Without blood, your body wouldn’t be able to combat infections. Your white blood cells contain the infection and your plasma defeats them with antibodies. When your system is overwhelmed antibiotics are needed to lend a helping hand.

5. Without blood, your organs wouldn’t function properly. Your blood delivers the right hormones and signalling molecules to your organs. If you don’t have the hormones in your organs you end up with no energy and your organs start to malfunction.

6. Without blood, your internal thermometer won’t function. Blood helps to regulate your body’s temperature, helping your gut to digest food and your skin to sweat.

Why is donating blood so important?

It takes the human body a long time to replace any blood that’s been lost. Plasma is replaced in approximately 24 hours but red blood cells are only replaced in about 4 to 6 weeks. Obviously, in an operation or emergency situation that kind of time isn’t available. In South Africa, 3000 plus pints of blood are needed every day to ensure base line limit of a safe and sufficient blood stock. The South African National Blood Service separates each pint of blood donated into plasma, platelets and red blood cells. This means your pint could save up to 3 lives.

Everyone knows donating blood is a good idea, but very few think about it until they need it themselves. It’s time to change that way of thinking. If everyone who was able donated blood every 2 to 3 months there would never be a shortage. And a shortage of blood is never a good idea.

When did you last donate blood?

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The Lenmed Story

Hospitals Caring for Communities 

The Lenmed Hospitals are deeply rooted in the historical landscape of Southern Africa. They have provided exceptional and affordable private care to the communities they serve for over three decades.

The Hospital Group’s story began during South Africa’s troubled times of Apartheid, in 1984, when the first Lenmed Clinic opened its doors in Lenasia. It had 47 beds, 4 wards and 2 theatres, and offered the people living in the community quality clinical care at affordable prices.

This was unheard of at a time when a large sector of South African society was being deprived of decent medical care. Lenmed Clinic in Lenasia would eventually become the Group’s flagship facility, Ahmed Kathrada Private Hospital. With state of the art facilities and over 80 specialist medical practitioners in residence, it stands proudly today as a testament to Lenmed’s excellence in clinical care.

Communities such as the one in Lenasia were in need of good hospitals all over South Africa and medical institutions where people’s health needs would receive immediate attention. Places where the unwell would be met with care and consideration. So, it wasn’t surprising when Lenmed hospitals began to spring up all around the country.

In 1992, Lenmed bought a stake in La Verna Private Hospital in Ladysmith and by 2004 owned the hospital outright. Ever since then Lenmed has set up high-quality private hospitals in various provinces throughout South Africa as well as beyond our borders in Mozambique and Botswana. Currently, Lenmed owns and manages 11 hospitals.

Since the Lenmed Group was formed in 2007, it has achieved some remarkable milestones. The first neuro-surgery was performed at Maputo Private Hospital in March 2018. Then, in April 2018 there was yet another first when the Royal Hospital and Heart Centre in Kimberley performed an open-heart surgery, the first ever in the Northern Cape. This excellent hospital also recently added a radiotherapy centre as part of its oncology offering. It is now the only facility in the province to offer both chemotherapy and radiotherapy services to patients with cancer.

The Ethekwini Hospital and Heart Centre in Durban only just celebrated its genius heart surgeon Professor Kinsley’s 50th year of performing paediatric cardiac surgery. This coincided with the launch of the Children’s Cardiac Foundation of Africa, which will provide life-saving cardiac surgery to children who normally cannot afford it. Ethekwini Hospital and Heart Centre recently proved its exceptional ability in clinical care by being placed in the Top 20 Discovery Hospitals of 2017.

The Ahmed Kathrada Private Hospital in Lenasia also recently opened a nuclear medicine diagnostic unit as part of the Ahmed Kathrada Cancer Institute. It offers holistic cancer treatments including the latest chemotherapy, radiotherapy and diagnostic nuclear medicine options.

There is a culture of caring, dedication and community involvement behind the Lenmed Group of hospitals, and because of this they have developed a reputation for making a difference to thousands of lives in South Africa and Africa.

Today, Lenmed hospitals are ranked in the top five medical groups in South Africa in terms of size, offering private clinical care in world-class facilities, with some of the best doctors, for people and communities who need it the most.

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International Nurses Day 2018

Nurses: A voice to lead - Health is a Human Right 

Nurses are essential in transforming health care and health systems such that no person is left behind, is without access to care or impoverished because of their need for health care.

The International Council of Nurses (ICN) believes that health is a human right.  We are at the forefront of advocating for access to health care and nurses are key to delivering it. Ensuring that we have enough nurses and other health care workers is a critical enabler of the human right to health.

Nurses can be a voice to lead by supporting a people-centric approach to care and the health care system, and by ensuring that their voices are heard in influencing health policies, planning, and provision. They are key in achieving the right to health for everyone; no matter the location, no matter the setting.

Health care systems are an essential element of a healthy and equitable society. When health is viewed as a human right, there is a demand for us to take action and a responsibility to enable access to a quality health care system. This belief should be the cornerstone of an effective system and the benefits of this will ultimately flow to communities and countries.

The right to health is more than just a catch phrase for health workers, civil society groups and non-governmental organizations in an effort to positively change the world. In the majority of cases, the right to health is a legal instrument that can be used to hold governments and the international community to account. It can and it should be used as a constructive tool for the health care sector to provide the best care for individuals, communities and populations (ICN).

The Significance of International Nurses Day

Nurse’s day is celebrated annually on 12th of May to commemorate the birth anniversary of the modern nursing founder, Florence Nightingale. Nurses have a deep practical knowledge of delivering best health care services. Nursing associations play important roles in working with governments and non-governmental organizations to strengthen health care systems as well as create conditions maximizing nurse’s contribution. The International Council of Nurses celebrates this event and aims to increase public awareness about nursing and nurse’s contributions to health care innovation and creativity.

In 2018 it is now time to stand together and speak as one. We must speak louder and clearer. With the resources that we currently have available to us, it is no longer acceptable to deny any human the right to quality health care. Make 2018 your year to be a voice to lead, health is a human right.

Lenmed salutes the nurses of this country who despite daily pressures and challenges, continue to prioritize the healing journey of their patients and continue to keep the lamp of Florence Nightingale burning bright. 

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Dealing With Stress

click image for more info

As well as taking care of your body and getting back into the swing of things, we all have to deal with stress. Stress is relative to each of us, but certainly a guaranteed part of life in one way or another. Here are some tips to help deal with stress:

Everything is harder to cope with when we are tired. If you are battling to get a proper night’s sleep try taking magnesium. A generally great supplement, magnesium has been proven to help.

 Very little is as relaxing as taking the time to have an indulgent massage. There is also specific stress relieving massages specifically designed to help you deal with tension and anxiety. Massages have also been known to directly assist the body in ridding itself of impurities and detoxify the lymph nodes.

 Get out and have fun! Join the gym, go for a hike or spend some time in nature. Not only does exercising release feel-good endorphins, it helps the body function optimally.

 These are all addictive substances which aside from the physical damage they may cause, they can create irritability when not available.

 So clichéd, but a vent or a chat with a friend or loved one may be all you need to release pent-up energy.

 When you bite off more than you can chew, you will become even more overwhelmed. It is ok to admit you are human and know your limits.

 Some letdown or post-holiday blues are expected.

  • Choose to see the benefits of getting back into your ‘normal’ routine such as looking at this as the time to start getting things done and working towards achieving your new goals.
  • Keep spending time with loved ones – just because the festive season is over should not mean lunch, brunch and dinner dates should be stopped too.
  • Have a plan to ensure you have things to look forward to.
  • Making healthy choices will help you feel stronger both mentally and physically.
  • Expect the best – have a positive frame of mind and look forward to the year ahead!
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Ethekwini Hospital Rated Top 20

Discovery Health recently revealed its annual survey, which gave some measure of South Africa’s best hospitals. Of the 136 hospitals surveyed using an exit poll from its members, after they had been in hospital, Ethekwini Hospital and Heart Centre, ranked Top 20. Discovery’s question in the poll centred on the quality of care from doctors, nurses and the patient’s overall experience, as well as hospital conditions. Hospital Manager Niresh Bechan said, “ A special thank you to our doctors, staff and support services for their contribution to making a positive difference to the patient’s journey. As a result we have been acknowledged with this prestigious accolade”.

Ethekwini Hospital and Heart Centre is the only private Paediatric Cardiac Unit in Kwazulu-Natal. Unique to this facility is the 13th member multidisciplinary paediatric team representing 10 specialist disciplines.


•         Paediatric Cardiologist

•         Paediatric Endocrinologist

•         Paediatric General Surgeon

•         Paediatric Nephrologist

•         Paediatric Genetics

•         Paediatric Cardio Thoracic Surgeon

•         General Paediatricians

•         Paediatric Haematologist

•         Paediatric Neurologist

•         Paediatric Pulmonologist



The hospital is also home to a Heart and Stroke Centre of Excellence with a dedicated stroke line (0861344237)  in the case of emergencies. Recently the hospital was the only private hospital in KwaZulu-Natal to have been selected to take part in a nationally driven stroke simulation (dummy patient run) project coordinated by Angels South Africa, in conjunction with Boehringer Ingelheims Global Office and Angels Europe. This simulation was a huge success with the door to needle time being 30 minutes and 10 seconds. “Our stroke teams are well trained and experienced in dealing with stroke emergencies”, said hospital manager Niresh Bechan.

Ethekwini Hospital and Heart Centre is a state of the art facility situated in the north of Durban with:

  • 340 beds,
  • 7 Operating Theatres,
  • An entire floor dedicated to the Cardiac Centre of Excellence,
  • Cardiac Theatre,
  • Cardiac Catherisation Theatre,
  • A dedicated Neonatal ICU & Paediatric ICU,
  • Maternity suite with its own 4D ultrasound,
  • Medical Units,
  • Surgical Units,
  • Nephrology and Dialysis Centre,
  • Neurosurgery,
  • Orthopaedic Surgery,
  • Vascular Surgery and Endo-Vascular Specialist,
  • A transplant programme and
  • An array of qualified, experienced specialists.

For more information on the hospital please do not hesitate to contact the hospital directly on +27 31 581 2400 or email us at


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Ahmed Kathrada Cancer Institute

Click here to read more about the newly upgraded Oncology centre.  

Ahmed Kathrada Private Hospital, one of ten hospitals belonging to the Lenmed Group is proud to announce the upcoming opening of a brand new Cancer Institute.

Our new Cancer Institute features premium technology in a warm, patient friendly and modern environment with comfortable waiting areas for our patients loved ones.

Cancer diagnosis and treatment at the Ahmed Kathrada Cancer Institute involves a team of experts in radiology, pathology, surgery, chemotherapy, radiation therapy, and symptom management. By virtue of its location at the hospital, the institute can offer access, input and intervention from a multitude of specialists.

Being diagnosed with cancer can be intimidating for our patients and their families but we believe that the right support can make things easier. From our friendly and caring staff to our comprehensive patient information, we aim to make all aspects of diagnosis, care and treatment as supportive and seamless as possible.

At the Ahmed Kathrada Cancer Institute there's more to cancer care than medications and therapies. As a comprehensive cancer centre, we offer support and educational programs that help you deal with emotional and physical effects of your disease and prepare for a healthier life after treatment. These include:

  • Breast cancer treatment
  • Colorectal cancer treatment
  • Gynaecological cancer treatment
  • Urological cancers treatment
  • Lung cancer treatment
  • Melanoma Haepatobiliary cancer treatments
  • Sarcoma Gastrointestinal cancer treatments
  • Pancreatic cancer treatment
  • Palliative Care

Treatment Team

For most cancers, treatment is led by one or more primary specialists, which include a medical oncologist, a surgical oncologist and a radiation oncologist. Each of these specialists brings a defined set of expertise and techniques for treating cancer.

At the Ahmed Kathrada Cancer Institute, members of each treatment team specialize in treating different types of cancer. This means that the doctors and other healthcare professionals on your treatment team are highly experienced in caring for patients with your particular type of cancer. Working together, your treatment team will develop a plan for the combination of treatments that will lead to the best possible outcome for you.

Introducing our Oncology Medical Fraternity:

Medical Oncologist

Dr Ogude

dr ogude



Dr. Ogude attained his MBBCh medical degree at the University of the Witwatersrand (WITS) in 2005 and went on to complete his specialist degree in Internal Medicine (Specialist Physician) and became a member of the Royal College of Physicians in 2011. He further super specialised in Medical Oncology and is a member of the South African Oncology Consortium (SAOC) and the European Society Of Medical Oncology (ESMO). Dr. Ogude is currently a director of the Sandton Oncology Medical Group and practices at the Sandton Oncology Centre. He is also a director of the Medical Oncology division at the Ahmed Kathrada Cancer Institute and chairs and sits in various multidisciplinary forums in Johannesburg. He has an interest in Colon, Breast, Lung as well as Gynaecological and Haematological malignancies.

Radiation Oncologists

Dr Naidoo & Dr Chiranjan

A radiation oncologist is a doctor who prescribes radiation therapy (beams of high-energy radiation, or radioactive seed implants) to shrink or eliminate tumors. They work together with a medical physicist to create an individualized treatment plan for each patient. Some radiation oncologists specialize in treating one or more types of cancer that occur in a specific organ (such as the prostate, lungs, or bone) or region of the body. The radiation oncologists at Ahmed Kathrada Cancer Institute have special expertise in using precisely targeted approaches such as intensity-modulated radiation therapy (IMRT).

dr ogude dr ogude
Dr. Chiranjan Dr. Naidoo
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Ahmed Kathrada Sports Medical Center

It was with great pride that Ahmed Kathrada Private Hospital officially opened the doors to Ahmed Kathrada Sports Medical Centre on 13 May 2017. Hosting over 70 guests of various medical disciplines who attended the CPD (Continuous Professional Development) talks given by our Sports Medical Center Multi-Disciplinary Team: Drs Mohammed Mossajee (Sports Physician) and Hashendra Ramjee (Sports Physician), Ahmed Montier (Sports Podiatrist), Mayur Ambelal (Biokeneticist,) and Yasmeen Omar (Head of the Physiotherapy Team). Amongst our guests was Amil Devchand Lenmed’s COO (Chief Operating Officer), and Elsa Benade (Hospital Manager) who officiated the milestone event.

The centre was the brainchild of Yasmeen Omar, a physiotherapist with over twenty two years industry experience. Yasmeen identified the need for such a service in the south of Johannesburg and together with a multidisciplinary team of Sports Physicians, a Biokineticist, a Certified Pilates Instructor, a Massage Therapist and Podiatrists began the long work of setting up the facility.

The aim of the centre is to provide evidence based holistic services to all those requiring physiological health assistance. This includes active individuals, sports enthusiasts and medical or surgical patients requiring treatment.

The centre is equipped with state-of-the art technology which includes:

  • Alter G anti-Gravity Treadmill
  • Biolase diode laser Therapy
  • CPM Machines for the AnkleKnee, Elbow and Shoulder
  • Storz Shockwave therapy
  • Heated Hydrotherapy Pool.

This technology enables the multidisciplinary team to provide the wide range of treatments which include:

  • Therapy for Musculoskeletal/Orthopaedic concerns
  • Respiratory Therapy
  • Neurological treatments(Adults and children)
  • Female health-related treatments

For more information or to arrange a visit please contact us:
Ahmed Kathrada Sports Medical Centre Tel: +27 11 852 1035, Tel: +27 11 213 2112, Cell: 0824149940,
Email: or

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