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The Gastro-enterology Unit was founded in 1975. During the following 25 years the unit has established itself as one of the major gastro-enterology units in Africa.
It is the only centre in Africa where the impact of urbanisation on GIT (Gastro-Intestinal-Tract) diseases have been studied in detail.
Patients in this unit receive diagnostic and therapeutic services comparable to the best offered in the United States or Europe.
Amongst the achievements of the Bara GIT Unit are:
- Therapeutic: The unit has pioneered the treatment of various GIT disorders in African patients. Facilities for highly specialised procedures in this field are available. Over 2'000 procedures are done annually by the unit.
- Research: Papers in South African and international journals. Over 300 research papers, abstracts and letters have been published on the work being done at Baragwanath. Broadly the works describe the emergence of Western diseases in Africa.
- Teaching: Invitations to lecture abroad. Lectures have been given to prestigious institutions in South America, Europe, Britain and the USA.
- Collaborative studies with leading overseas workers: Eminent international workers, in this field, realise that the clues to the causes of many disease can be obtained by working in liaison with Bara.
- South African Gastro-enterology Society: The importance of Chris Hani Baragwanath in the South African setting, is reflected by the fact that Prof I Segal was elected Life President of the Society.
- African Institute of Digestive Diseases: The importance of the establishment of this institution, during 1997, can best be assessed in the words of Prof I Boucher, President of the World Organisation of Gastro-enterology: "The establishment of a Postgraduate Institution for the training of gastroenterologists in the continent of Africa will be a giant step forward in the promotion of the speciality of gastroenterology in that continent and, ofcourse, should do a great deal to improve the standard of postgraduate gastroenterological practice."
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