IT’S good news to Tanzania that Jakaya Kikwete Cardiac Institute (JKCI) topped last year’s list of Africa’s cardiac hospitals with the record number of heart surgeries reaching 1,356. These are record heart operations among all cardiac facilities on the African continent to be performed in a fledgling economy like ours.
Based in Dar es Salaam, JKCI apart from performing the highest number of surgeries, it meets World Health Organisation (WHO) standards. While WHO’s death ceiling is 13 per cent, at JKCI only five per cent of patients died, while receiving treatment.
This is according to JKCI Executive Director, Dr Mohamed Janabi. This, indeed, shows significant improvement in the sector of Health, Community Development, Gender, Elderly and Children.
This is a great achievement that has to be maintained and it can only be so if the sector of Health, Community Development, Gender, Elderly and Children is adequately funded, particularly JKCI.
The more this sector improves, the more the quality of life of Tanzanians improves. The construction of a new ward for children has added more value to JKCI.
Although 20 children have been treated daily, the construction of the new ward will make the facility be able to treat about 40 children daily.
JKCI’s vision is to become an interminably accredited institute of excellence offering affordable cardiovascular care and training in the country. What is happening at JKCI at the moment largely reflects this vision.
According to WHO, by 2030, almost 23.6 million people will die from cardiovascular diseases, mainly from heart disease and stroke. The cardiovascular diseases are projected to remain the leading causes of deaths worldwide.
WHO records show that 17.9 million people die of cardiovascular diseases every year, which is 31 per cent of all global deaths. Contributing factors are tobacco smoking, unhealthy diet, lack of physical exercises and excessive alcohol consumption.
We are glad to hear what is happening at JKCI, especially the medical expenses it saves the nation and individual Tanzanians from seeking cardiac treatment from overseas hospitals. Since JKCI started operating the number of Tanzanians going overseas for treatment has significantly dropped. That is why we think what is happening at JKCI is good news to all Tanzanians.
Since cardiac diseases are among the non-communicable diseases, it is important to increase public awareness so that more people know about their health status and risks as the majority may not be aware of what can lead to good or ill-health.
Tobacco use, unhealthy diets and lack of physical activities increase the risk of heart attacks and strokes. It is important to be aware of what causes cardiac diseases if we want to address or treat and reduce them.