A team of 38 surgeons, known as ‘The Springbok Project’, has been assembled specifically to test surgical instruments developed by an international instrument developing company known as Covidien, which primarily aims to “making doctors, nurses, pharmacists and other medical professionals as effective as they can be”.
Among this elite group of medical professionals is the president of the Botswana Medical Practitioner’s Group, Dr Anthony Sibiya, whose selection comes after winning the prestigious International Surgeon of the Year award in the United States of America.
The Springbok Project will convene today (September 5th).
Through ongoing collaboration with these medical professionals and healthcare organizations, they will be able to identify clinical needs and translate them into proven products and procedures.
The tests will be taking place for the first time ever on African soil, in Onderstepoort, South Africa and will attract a lot of surgeons from the region.
The doctors will be testing prototypes developed for Laparoscopic surgery, a type of surgery that involves operations in the abdomen and which is performed through small incisions and, using cameras, the doctor is able to see images projected on the monitor through the incision.
Sibiya said that the surgeons that will be performing the tests will be using pigs since they are anatomically similar to human beings. He added that the pigs will be alive and will be operated on in a theatre setup and will be given anesthetic, like what is done on human beings and the surgeon will have to ensure that the pig survives the surgery.
After being tested, the instruments will then be sold on an open market to big brand names, such as Kendall, Mallinckrodt, Nellcor, Puritan-Bennett and Valleylab. He said that generic instruments can also be sold to hospitals and health care facilities.
Regarding his appointment, Sibiya said that he is elated by stated the recognition, which means a great deal to him as it is part of the development process.