Dr Joolay, Senior Neonatologist at Groote Schuur Hospital said, "We spend hours trying to trace these babies. Desperately wanting them to come back for a follow-up."He warned that a major issue with premature babies is the susceptibility to blindness. This is due to the maldevelopment of the blood vessels in the eyes (retinopathy of prematurity) in premature babies. The timespan to catch this is only a few days.
"It's quite a wake-up call, " says Van Niekerk. "If you think about how much, financially, the parents save if they invest properly at the birth stages of their child. If you do it right from the beginning, you avoid having to live a different lifestyle if the child were to develop a disability [as a result of no-follow up appointments]. It helps me appreciate what I have so much more. I'm healthy and I don't have any form of disadvantage."Minister of Health, Dr Nomafrench Mbombo commended Wayde van Niekerk on being a role model for the youth and for "doing good and not being naughty". Mbombo is also a trained nurse and spent many hours in neonatal units. She said "what affects the moms, affect the babies," highlighting the need for proper communication. And, to inform parents of the urgency of follow-ups after a premature baby has been discharged.
“Wayde first showed his dedication to this cause by making a generous personal donation of half a million Rand to The Newborns Groote Schuur Trust,” says Nhlapo. “T-Systems was very interested in where we too could leverage ICT to address some of the most critical points of the Neonatal unit.”
Nhlapo describes T-System’s solution, “We have implemented a patient management solution that is built on Microsoft’s Dynamics CRM Online system. This solution will assist in effectively managing contact information, patient bookings, appointments, confirmations as well as generate appointment reminders for Retinopathy Of Prematurity visits and Neurodevelopmental Clinics."The system is also capable of scheduling and managing staff standby rosters in line with set business rules. Reducing the pressure on doctors and nurses and ensuring proper availability of both is catered for.
"We are proud to be involved in this initiative. Together with Wayde, are committed to contributing positively towards reducing the high mortality rate caused by complications in premature babies. We are extremely proud of the role of our partner, Microsoft, who contributed by reducing licence fees for their platforms.”
When asked how the youth of today should stay motivated for the future he said, "It's very tough because we have a lot of people quoting and motivating others. But, what it comes down to is self-discipline, self-desire, and inner passion that you need to get to know. A lot of us just need to sit back, take a step back, and get to known ourselves before we go out and seek motivation from someone else. Know what you want in life and that will help you make the right choices. Build that good environment to get yourself to whatever level you want."