Over 600 people turn up for cardiac check up

MORE than 600 people have undergone cardiac check up and treatment in a five-day camp at Zanzibar’s Mnazi Mmoja Referral Hospital

The provision of services at the camp was  done by cardiologists from Jakaya Kikwete Cardiac Institute (JKCI) and Mnazi Mmoja Hospital.

Dr Peter Kisenge, who led a team from JKCI said the camp has been successful as many people turned up for free check up services.

“We are completing the camp later today (yesterday), but so far we have attended 665 people, out of whom 575 are adults and 90 children,” he said.

He noted that 75 patients including 20 children have been referred to JKCI centre in Dar es Salaam for further treatment.

He said  that during the camp, free diagnosis services were provided for  blood pressure, diabetes, Electrocardiogram (ECG), and Echocardiogram (ECHO) along with providing education on  heart diagnosis  and promoting healthy lifestyles.

Dr Kisenge said that JKCI plans to continue with outreach programmes to different areas including villages in Pemba, urging donors at individual level and companies to support  the programme.

Last year, JKCI managed to conduct a similar cardiac health check-up in Dar es Salaam, Coast, Arusha, Geita, Mtwara and Lindi. “A total of 3, 935 people were screened, out of 1,391 had heart complications and 335 were referred to JKCI for further treatment,” Dr Kisenge said.

Flanked by Dr Muhiddin Abdi Mahmoud- Executive Director Mnazi Mmoja Hospital, and Dr Nabila Bakari Juma- Cardiologists in Zanzibar, Dr Kisenge disclosed that his institute has been doing its best in providing services that are of high quality to its patients and that they have been receiving about 400 patients per day for check up.

He said that in the past three year of JKCI, received 1,005 patients from Zanzibar, out of 525  who required different types of treatment including surgery.

“Research registry, which provides detailed information about people with a specific disease or condition, has not been conducted, but our records at different hospitals show an increase in Non-Communicable Diseases (NCDs) led by heart complications in the country.

Dr Kisenge and Dr Mahmoud thanked President Samia Suluhu Hassan and her Zanzibar counterpart Dr Hussein Ali Mwinyi for improving medical care in the country. He noted that plans are underway for JKCI to sign an MoU with Mnazi Mmoja to have monthly visit so that patients at Mnazi Mmoja get the services.

“Cardiac services have been improving in the country. So far, we have four ‘cardiac cath lab’ (or cardiac catheterisation lab), but efforts are being made to improve the services. Four machines and shortage of cardiologists in the country, is still a challenge to care for more than 60 million Tanzanians,” he said.

Cardiac Cath Lab’ is a special hospital room where doctors perform minimally invasive tests and procedures to diagnose and treat cardiovascular disease. The health experts want increased cardiac health awareness in the public, particularly eating health and keeping the body active.

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