Zandile Shezi is a qualified audiologist who has been practicing for 15 years. She completed her degree at the University of KwaZulu Natal in 2007. Zandile holds a Master’s degree (cum laude) and PhD from the University of KwaZulu Natal (UKZN). She is also a certified mapping audiologist and a Listening and Spoken Language South Africa (LSLSA) certified therapist. She is the co-ordinator of the KwaZulu Natal Auditory Implant Program. Zandile is a Drill fellow, a grant dedicated to “Developing Research, Innovation, Localization and Leadership in South Africa (DRILL)” within the College of Health Sciences. She is a mentor to students within Health Sciences from previously disadvantaged backgrounds and schools who were awarded a bursary.
She worked in the public sector from 2008 (community serve) to 2010 and joined the University in 2011. She is a lecturer/clinical tutor within the discipline of audiology for aural rehabilitation and implantable devices. Her areas of interest in audiology include aural rehabilitation, implantable devices, early intervention and research. She has published her research, presented at national and international conferences.
The KwaZulu-Natal Auditory Implant Programme (KZN-AIP) was launched in 2021, and an ongoing evaluation is recognized to ensure programme success. Considering the infancy of the KZN-AIP in providing a specialized service within the public sector as well as adopting a newly designed model not previously used within the health sector across South Africa, the effectiveness of this programme is unknown. This study aims to use the re-aim extension programme to evaluate and adapt an auditory implant programme in KZN, South Africa.
Post the launch of the KZN-AIP, the following dimensions were considered: Reach: considers the programmes promotion efforts, and number of referrals to measure growth. Effectiveness: considers the number of approved patients and patients implanted successfully, measurement of setting level and staff level. Implementation and Maintenance of the programme.
Reach: in promoting the study, a launch of the programme that included 87 participants was facilitated. Detailed radio interviews and meetings with various stakeholders within the Department of Health, University of KwaZulu-Natal and private sector were conducted. In 2021 and 2022, twenty-six and eighteen referrals were received respectively from 9 different districts of KwaZulu-Natal. Effectiveness: To date, a total of 23 patients have been approved for implantation and a total of 11 patients (3 children, 8 adults) have been implanted. A significant growth is observed with staff development, as the programme began with 1 surgeon and 1 audiologist and currently has 3 surgeons, 3 audiologists and 1 speech therapist. Implementation: Includes referrals of candidates into the programme, assessments, regular candidacy discussions and management. Maintenance: This is an ongoing process that is inclusive of an internal and external programme audit
The re-aim framework has provided the structure to systematically plan, implement, maintain and evaluate the KZNAIP while effectively progressing and with funding cited as the biggest challenge.