JKCI experts treat 724 heart patients in Malawi

FIVE specialist doctors from Jakaya Kikwete Cardiac Institute (JKCI) have provided expert treatment to more than 724 heart patients in Malawi, when they held a five-day camp in the country.

The treatment has been successful under the coordination of the Tanzania Medical Tourism Committee chaired by the Director of Muhimbili National Hospital (MNH) Dr Mohamed Janabi and his Vice, Abdulmalik Mollel, who is the Director of Global Education Link (GEL).

Speaking to journalists shortly after arriving at the Julius Nyerere International Airport (JNIA), in Dar es Salaam onday, the leader of the delegation who is a JKCI cardiologist, Dr Angela Muhyoza, said the camp held at Queen Elizabeth Hospital was a big success.

She said they had two paediatricians and two adult doctors and other specialists, who were helping the medics.

She said that among the patients they treated, 524 were found to have heart problems and some were treated on the spot, while 200 patients needed the services of a major open-heart surgery.

“Among those patients, 60 needed urgent treatment due to the problems they have. The people of Malawi have enjoyed our services and they wanted us to remain there, but we have other people to attend to here at home,” she said.

Meanwhile, the government of Malawi has commended the government of Tanzania for sending the cardiologists to diagnose and treat heart diseases patients in Malawi.

The thanks were given by the Minister for Health in Malawi, Khumbize Chiponda when she visited Queen Elizabeth Hospital to inspect the services provided by health experts from (JKCI) during a special five-day heart treatment camp.

Khumbize said Malawi and Tanzania have agreed to cooperate in building capacity to each other as Malawi has not been able to establish a heart hospital like JKCI, so through the camp they will assess their capacity if they can establish a centre that will be providing specialist heart treatment services in the country.

Khumbize said heart treatment is expensive, so far Malawi has more than 500 patients with various heart complications who are waiting to be taken abroad for treatment.

Speaking about the camp, a Cardiologist from JKCI, Parvina Kazaura, said that in the camp they conducted heart examinations and treatments for adults and children.

She said at least 80 children were undergoing heart examinations every day and they found that many children had congenital heart diseases.

“Unfortunately, many children with congenital heart diseases have come at an older age where they should have been operated on early stage after birth, but they were not operated due to the lack of these services here in Malawi,” she said.

On his side, the Head of the Internal Medicine Department from Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Malawi, Dr Chimota Phiri, said the heart treatment camp conducted by colleagues from JKCI has given them the light to recognise various heart diseases that Malawians have.

“Our country now needs to invest in the specialist profession of heart treatment so that our experts can go to learn and help our people get services here in the country instead of travelling abroad,” said Chimota.

Lay Pastor Kachoka, a Malawian citizen who received treatment at the camp thanked doctors from JKCI for conducting a thorough diagnosis and advising him to attend a heart treatment clinic every six months.

“We Malawians really need these services to be here in our country, I advise you next time when you organise a camp like this put it in different areas of our country so that all citizens can benefit from these services”, said Lay Pastor.

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