Congratulations to Niki van Niekerk for winning the Western Cape Premier’s Service Excellence Award (gold) in the Individual Innovator category. The award was announced at a gala occasion on the evening of Monday 28th August 2017.
This was awarded for her implementation of a pre-discharge newborn oxygen saturation screening programme at Mowbray Maternity Hospital (MMH). This was the first public service hospital in the country to have implemented this programme.
Oxygen saturation screening is designed for early detection of critical congenital heart disease. (and also picks up other serious though treatable conditions such as early neonatal sepsis, pneumonia or persistent pulmonary hypertension of the newborn).
The screening has been rolled out in well-resourced countries across the globe, and in the private sector in South Africa. MMH has in excess of 800 deliveries per month. Thus it is a moderately resourced busy maternity service. The implementation followed a feasibility study of 1000 newborns in the postnatal wards at MMH.