Dr Ntanganedzeni Muambadzi.
Date: 08 August 2020 By: Pétria de Vaal
The Soutpansberg is happy to announce that Dr Ntanganedzeni Muambadzi, a specialist nuclear physician from MI&T Limpopo (Molecular Imaging and Therapy Limpopo) is now consulting in Louis Trichardt.
Although in use in all parts of the world and in South Africa for a long time, the concept of nuclear medicine is fairly new in the Soutpansberg area. The term might sound foreign to most of our readers but has become essential in the treatment of some conditions.
What is nuclear medicine?
Nuclear medicine imaging uses small amounts of radioactive materials, called radiotracers. The radiotracer travels through the area being examined and gives off energy in the form of gamma rays that are detected by a special camera and a computer to create images of the inside of the human body. Nuclear medicine imaging provides unique information that often cannot be obtained via other imaging procedures and offers the potential to identify disease in its earliest stages. Skeletal scintigraphy (bone scan) and thyroid-cancer treatment are among those conditions that can be diagnosed and treated by means of nuclear medicine.
Muambadzi is originally from Venda. She studied medicine at Medunsa and specialised in nuclear medicine at the University of the Witwatersrand. From 2017, she was the head of department for nuclear medicine at the Pietersburg Hospital. She opened her private practice in February 2020 in Polokwane.
The Zoutpansberg Private Hospital was eager to welcome the services of Dr Muambadzi from Friday, 7 August. She will be consulting on Mondays and Fridays at the specialist rooms.
Muambadzi has won many awards in this field, such as the Young Doctors’ Award from the Board of Health Care Funder (BHF) in 2017; she was a nominee for Women in Health Care in 2018, and in 2019 she was the award winner for “Discovery Distinguished Rural Health Care”.
“I am eager to bring the following to Louis Trichardt: a bone-density machine as well as an osteoporosis and thyroid clinic. Although nuclear medicine has been around for a long time, it is lacking in the Limpopo Province,” Muambadzi said. She added, however, that the gamma camera is in Polokwane, but transport can be arranged for those in need of going for gamma camera scans.
The NTP Radioisotopes SOC Ltd, a subsidiary of the South African Nuclear Energy Corporation (NECSA) at Pelindaba, produces, processes, and supplies essential medical radioisotopes to doctors and patients around the world. A pamphlet with fast facts from this organisation explains some important aspects of nuclear medicine. These, among others, include that nuclear medicine procedures (diagnosis and treatment) are painless and that nuclear imaging procedures are amongst the safest diagnostic imaging examinations available. The radiation exposure from nuclear medicine procedures is often less than that of a traditional x-ray and is therefore safe for adults and children.
According to Muambadzi, the therapy known as radionuclide therapy is one that is used to treat, for instance, prostate cancer where other, more conventional, methods do not obtain the required results.
“I would like to encourage all people above the age of 45 to do regular bone-density scans. This is for all – men and women! This is a service that we now have available in Louis Trichardt. Many cases of, for instance, osteoporosis can be prevented and/or treated when regular scans are done. Don’t wait until you fall and get a fracture,” Muambadzi said.
She is looking forward to practising in Louis Trichardt and assisting the community with this service. Muambadzi added: “Please remember that you do not need a referral from another doctor to come for a bone-density scan. An appointment can be made at the specialist rooms at the Zoutpansberg Private Hospital.”
For more information, the Zoutpansberg Private Hospital can be contacted at 015 516 0720.