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SAVING SOWETO
Saving Soweto
Life inside the world's largest hospital.
Last Modified: 17 Feb 2009 13:48 GMT



Al Jazeera reveals the inside workings of Chris Hani Baragwanath Hospital in Soweto, the only hospital in South Africa's biggest township.

Known affectionately as "Bara", the hospital is the largest in the world sprawling over 173 acres, 429 buildings and 10km of corridor. There are more than 3,000 beds to serve a population of about four million.

In eight episodes Al Jazeera follows doctors and nurses as they deal with a multitude of health issues affecting Soweto's black population and finds out what motivates with little recognition.

Vital organs


 

South Africa - home to the world's first heart transplant - is a leader in the field. But organ donors are in short supply and the numbers awaiting transplant are steadily increasing.

In Soweto, a township with more than three million people, kidney disease is a big killer, making organ donation a top priority for those working in Chris Hani Baragwanath's renal unit.

Watch part two


Healing the wounds


 

Al Jazeera spends time with staff in Bara's burns unit.

Over two thirds of burns in South Africa are caused by dangerous practices in poor settlements and 80 per cent of the fatal injuries occur in informal settlements.

In winter when temperatures drop below freezing, the burns unit routinely has to deal with the terrible repercussions of this problem.

Watch part two



Seeing the light

 

St Johns eye clinic is part of the massive Bara hospital and is the biggest eye hospital in the southern hemisphere.

Many of Soweto's poor utilise the services on offer here and Al Jazeera joins the staff of this busy clinic.

Watch part two




From Cradle to Grave


 

Three out of ten pregnant women in South Africa today have HIV/Aids.

The Maternity Unit at Soweto’s Chris Hani Baragwanath Hospital delivers about 70 babies a day, many born HIV positive and who come into the world with no say in their care or management of the disease.

Watch part two


Overload

 

Medical Admission Ward 20 deals with all of Soweto's non-surgical medical emergencies.

Doctors are constantly overwhelmed by the numbers of patients seeking help and in this ward, sixty to eighty per cent of deaths are due to HIV and Aids.

Watch part two



24 Hours of Trauma

 

Al Jazeera joins staff in the Bara trauma unit, one of the busiest in the world, for a gruelling 24 hour shift on a pay day weekend - a time when staff and resources are pushed to their limits.

Watch part two

Read more...

Source:
Al Jazeera
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