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Friday, May 24, 2024

Open heart surgeries to resume at Parirenyatwa

Story by Abigirl Tembo, Health Editor

ZIMBABWE will this Thursday resume open heart surgeries at Parirenyatwa Group of Hospitals in Harare after a five year sabbatical owing to various challenges.

The country is set to record another milestone in the health sector this Thursday when it resumes open heart surgeries, with the last one having been conducted in October 2018.

The team of specialist doctors and nurses at Parirenyatwa Group of Hospitals, led by Specialist cardiovascular and thoracic surgeon Dr Simukayi Machawira, is ready to resume the life-serving operations.

“We are looking at resuming open heart surgery from the 22nd of June this week. We are still preparing as we had to buy a lot of consumables, medications and also fixing the machinery so at this stage we are screening the patients that are planned for surgery and am sure by Thursday we will be able to start our case.

“The team is very much ready to embark on this programme, its something we have been pushing on for the past 5 years. We have been in communication with the Ministry of Health and we are looking very much forward to starting the surgeries. Our team is quite large at any one time we are looking at plus or minus 20 to 30 people,” said Dr Machawira.

The country has a long list of people waiting to undergo open heart surgeries.

“About 4000 children that are born each year in Zimbabwe need some sort of open heart surgery for them to be able to survive. A lot of them will succumb to natural disease progress due to untreated disease. We also have a burden of rheumatic heart disease which unfortunately is very much poorly documented at the moment we have between 500 and 600 patients with rheumatic heart disease awaiting surgery,” he added.

So far Parirenyatwa Group of Hospitals remains the only hospital in the private and public sectors that is able to do open heart surgeries, with plans already in motion to decentralise the surgeries countrywide.

Government has been on a drive to capacitate its health care workers through the Manpower Development Fund, which has seen many doctors being sponsored by government to further their education and sharpen their skills.

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