If you see a modern, silver and orange, domed-headed, waist-high robot being wheeled around your local hospital, feel free to introduce yourself to the latest hospital team member in Infection Prevention & Control (IPC).

Dr Justin Gavanescu, general manager of Netcare Milpark Hospital, and Dr Skhumbuzo Ngozwana, president and CEO of Kiara Health, authorised resellers of Xenex Light Strike ‘germ-zapping robots’ in Africa

Xenex Light Strike Germ-Zapping Robots provide proven, effective and fast disinfection of hospital environments to enhance patient and employee safety by destroying the microorganisms that can cause infections. As a very important new member of the hospital IPC team, each robot has a unique name emblazoned on its side, so keep an eye out for Bonny, Logan, Kaitlyn and Boomer.

Xenex Disinfection Services (Xenex) is a Texas-based company that produces pulsed xenon ultraviolet (UV) germ-zapping robots. The Xenex Light Strike robots are designed for speed, portability and effectiveness, to systematically disinfect any space within a healthcare facility. Over 450 healthcare facilities are utilising Xenex Light Strike robots, which integrate smoothly into hospital cleaning operations, allowing the disinfection of as many as 64 rooms a day with a single robot. The patented technology blasts full-spectrum germicidal UV light capable of destroying a wide range of microorganisms using 5-minute cycles. The portable disinfection robots are effective against the most common as well as the most dangerous pathogens, including Clostridium difficile (C. diff), norovirus, influenza, Ebola, carbapenem-resistant Enterobacteriaceae (CRE), Vancomycin-resistant enterococci (VRE) and methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, better known as MRSA.

For the first time in Africa, the Netcare Group became the forerunners in the adoption of this new disinfection technology. Recently, Netcare purchased and implemented a number of Light Strike devices in their prominent hospitals across SA. After trialling the Xenex disinfection robot over many months in two of their large hospitals, Netcare acquired a number of these devices to bolster their fight against infection and further enhance the safety of their patients and employees.

Founded by two epidemiologists, Drs Mark Stibich and Julie Stachowiak, the disinfection robot was developed based on evidence-based medicine. Xenex uses scientific data and research to create their protocols and deployment strategies. The pulsed xenon UV technology is shown to be effective against germs and bacteria in a lab setting, and has been evaluated in hospitals and shown to be effective at helping hospitals reduce their infection rates. Several hospitals have published their C.diff, MRSA and Surgical Site infection rate reduction studies in peer-reviewed journals. Xenex is the only provider of UV disinfection technology that has had multiple clinical outcome studies published in peer-reviewed journals.

“Kiara Health is proud to be the authorised reseller of the Light Strike robot in Africa, for the prestigious US-based company, Xenex Disinfection Services. We are also pleased to partner with Netcare, who has a demonstrated record and passion for patient safety,” says Dr Skhumbuzo Ngozwana, President & CEO of Kiara Health.