African World Heritage Day: A shoutout to our South African doctors

Samantha Aspeling
May 5, 2022

On Thursday, 5 May the world celebrates Africa’s cultural and natural heritage. 

As a platform that serves healthcare professionals across South Africa, LocumBase chooses this day to honour our uniquely South African accomplishments and doctors and highlight what they’ve achieved in our country’s medical history.

Doctors save lives every day, but their value extends much further. Their contribution to human health is unparalleled since they have the ability and access to make a difference by assisting patients in alleviating pain, speeding up the recovery process, or helping them to cope with a disabling injury. Doctors apply their comprehensive knowledge to identify a medical condition that a patient is experiencing and then use their skills and experience to treat it.

South Africa is known for the three first-ever successful medical procedures performed. On 3 December 1967, Dr Christiaan Barnard performed the world’s first human-to-human heart transplant at Groote Schuur Hospital in Cape Town. The following year in 1968 he then moved on to the second heart surgery performed in the world.

In December 2014, South Africa made the world headlines again when professor André van der Merwe at Tygerberg Hospital in Cape Town, performed the first-ever penile transplant. He then performed the second successful penile transplant three years later. He also performed the first laparoscopic kidney removal in South Africa.

In 2019, the world’s first-ever middle ear transplant was successfully performed at The Steve Biko Academic Hospital in Pretoria by Professor Mashudu Tshifularo using 3D-printing technology. This procedure allowed a 35-year-old man to hear again.

Just last year, in May 2021, a set of conjoined twins were successfully separated at the Red Cross Children’s Hospital in Cape Town. The twins were conjoined at the head, which is the rarest form of conjoining and the surgery was expected to take six hours - but it only took 90 minutes! 

During times like now, when a contagious disease like Covid-19 threatens our basic survival, doctors are taking proactive measures and raising awareness to prevent this terrible situation from spiralling out of hand. The pandemic outbreak has witnessed a skyrocketing number of cases prompting doctors to work around the clock, risking their lives to save as many lives as possible. 

Like soldiers in a battle, doctors have gone above and beyond the call of duty, labouring nonstop to save lives while endangering their own - and we at Locumbase, thank you for that.

LocumBase is a software as a service platform that connects medical professionals and practices directly with no hidden fees. We have over 5 000 medical professionals signed up to our system across industries and over 600 active medical practices.

Sign up to LocumBase as a medical professional or medical practice and join the Locum Revolution! If you are a registered member of the South African Medical Association (SAMA), you have access to member benefits when signing up to the LocumBase platform.

Feel free to contact us via email at or drop us a WhatsApp on 079 013 3962.

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