A new technology at Tygerberg Hospital is making waves for its less invasive treatment of  tuberculosis (TB) for children.

The Olympus Paediatric Ultrasound Bronchoscope System, a miniature radial ultrasound probe and bronchoscope, was gifted to the hospital from the Rotary Club of Blouberg. It took three years to raise funds for the equipment that is worth R3-million.

This first-of-its-kind technology will greatly improve how doctors undertake procedures on children and adults suffering from TB. Tygerberg Hospital is the first in Africa to receive this equipment.

“With our high rate of TB and other respiratory health issues, treatment of our hospitals’ children has now reached stratospheric levels of sophistication and precision of diagnosis,” Tygerberg CHidlren’s Hosptial Trust writes on a Facebook post.

“In the past, we would have to perform surgery to get samples and biopsies and to detect any abnormalities in the airways of children, but no more. This technology is far less invasive,” said Tygerberg Hospitals head of clinical pediatric pulmonology, Professor Pierre Goussard.

The technology is expected to change lives. Credit: Facebook / Rotary Club of Blouberg

Previously patients would have to be exposed to radiation in order to undergo treatment.

“This technology is very unique. Instead of opening up the chest, we now go down the airway and we can get samples by using a 2mm needle. We can use this procedure on children between the ages of 3 months and 12 years.”

The technology can also be used on adults and further allows doctors to carry out ultrasound tests on patients’ lungs and airways, making it easier to locate problem areas and prescribe treatment.

The bronchoscope may also aid in the treatment of cancer in adults.

Picture: Facebook/ Tygerberg Hospital Children’s Trust


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