By Dr Maitazvenyu Mvere MBChB FRCR (UK)
The Well Woman Clinic has been in existence for 23 years. It was established in 1998 at 18 East Road, Belgravia, Harare to provide high quality, holistic health solutions for women through screening, preventive health care and education in a relaxing, calm environment. As the Well Woman Clinic in Belgravia grew to include more recent diagnostic procedures and equipment as well as more specialist doctors offering a wider range of services the premises became too small and there was no room to expand.
The new clinic at 5 Hurworth Road in Highlands is a state of the art, custom-designed, modern medical facility providing five bespoke examination rooms, a custom-designed Radiology department and new patient facilities to cater for the unique health care needs of women. Conveniently located just off Enterprise Road, with ample on-site parking, the clinic is open 5 days a week from 7:30 am to 4:30 pm.
It brings high-quality and individualised care across a much more extensive array of specialisms and service. These include same-day GP, specialist physician appointments, radiology, obstetrics, gynaecology, corporate health packages, dermatology, health screening, adolescent health care and mental well-being. Other services added to the clinic include on-site Phlebotomy services in collaboration with Lancet Clinical Laboratories and a pharmacy (Medicine Chest). A training room at the clinic provides a venue for educational talks for the public and health professionals.
The clinic is set in a beautiful, landscaped garden incorporating varying shades of blue, white, and green with water features and private courtyards. The colour palette of the exterior has been incorporated into the interior design of the clinic, blending the indoor/outdoor distinction, and creating an overall calm and soothing environment for anxious patients.
WOMEN’S IMAGING SERVICES
Imaging Services at the clinic are managed by a specialist Radiologist, Dr Maitazvenyu Mvere, a Fellow of the Royal College of Radiologists (United Kingdom) who underwent subspecialty training in breast imaging at the world-renowned Nottingham Breast Institute.
Digital mammography is a high-resolution low dose x-ray of the breasts. The Well Woman Clinic follows specific international guidelines and conducts frequent equipment inspections to ensure that their equipment is safe and uses the lowest radiation dose possible to produce high quality, diagnostic images. The level of radiation used in digital mammography does not increase the risk of breast cancer for women who get regular, annual mammograms. It is performed by experienced (and gentle) specially qualified technicians (mammographers). All mammograms are ‘double reported independently by two specialist diagnostic radiologists according to international guidelines. All mammograms are interpreted with the aid of computer-aided detection (CAD) digital technology to improve diagnostic accuracy.
Who should have mammograms?
All women over the age of 40 are advised to have annual mammograms. Women at high risk of developing breast cancer (usually those with a strong family history of breast cancer) may need to start breast cancer screening from an earlier age.
Ultrasound uses high-frequency sound waves to provide an excellent real-time assessment of the anatomy of the breast. It is used as an alternative to screening mammography in patients younger than 35 or to clarify areas of abnormality detected via other imaging tests.
BREAST BIOPSIES AND ASPIRATIONS
Breast biopsies and aspirations are simple, safe minimally invasive procedures performed under local anaesthetic by the radiologist, a team of mammographers and nurses. Small samples of tissue (biopsy specimen) or fluid (aspirate) are taken under the guidance of the mammogram (stereotactic guided biopsy) or ultrasound (ultrasound-guided biopsy). The Well Woman Clinic is the only medical facility in the country performing a stereotactic guided biopsy. The samples are sent to a pathologist to confirm or rule out the presence of cancer.
BONE DENSITY (DEXA)
A bone density examination measures the strength of bones. DEXA stands for dual-energy x-ray absorptiometry. The amount of radiation used is typically less than one-tenth of the dose of a standard chest x-ray. A low bone density result indicates osteopenia or osteoporosis – medical conditions that cause bones to become more fragile and break easily. Test results from a bone density examination help doctors to make recommendations to prevent future fractures.
Who should have a bone density test?
All women over the age of 50 and all men over the age of 70 are advised to have a bone density test. Doctors may also recommend a bone density test if: patients have lost over an inch of height, use certain medications, have suffered a fracture after only a minor injury, or have a family history of osteoporosis.
In keeping with the Well Woman Clinic’s focus on women’s health, the clinic also offers gynaecological ultrasound, obstetric ultrasound, abdominal ultrasound and thyroid ultrasound.
For appointment bookings or to make enquiries, please phone (+263 24) 2796492/3/4/6, (+263 24) 2704326 , (+263 24) 2704262 , (+263 24) 2704200 or VOIP LINE (+263) 86 77100746.
Images by Well Woman Clinic
Originally published in the 3rd Ndeipi Newsletter