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Parirenyatwa records 100% success rate in open-heart surgeries

Story by Abigirl Tembo, Health Editor

PARIRENYATWA Group of Hospitals has recorded a 100% success rate in open-heart surgeries which started in June this year, in a move which confirms the country has competent medical personnel.

After battling a heart ailment for years, 42-year-old Ms Chipo Wizinani of Eastview in Goromonzi never imagined she would conquer the disease one day.

“I just started feeling weak and could no longer do some of the work I used to do, then, I went to a hospital and had some tests done that’s when I was told that my heart was swollen, and my BP was high. I was given some medication but my health kept deteriorating. When I went for other tests I was told that I had a blocked valve and blood was not moving properly. I then went to Karanda and had some tests done and they said the same thing about my heart,”

“I was given medication, by then, my stomach and legs were getting swollen. I went back to Pari again and had some tests done again. At Karanda I was told that I should go to India or China because in Zimbabwe it’s not possible. It was a difficult time for me because I knew I would never afford to go to India or China so I just said God I am now leaving everything in your hands. During that time I would cry a lot every day,” said Ms Wizinani.

Even after undergoing tests at Parirenyatwa Group of Hospitals and getting reassurance from doctors, the mother of three still had reservations.

“My relatives were not happy with my decision to go for an operation and would constantly discourage me. My brother kept on discouraging me and kept on saying I should opt for other treatment options because a heart is a delicate organ. My thoughts were on my child. I kept thinking about him because schools had opened. He is in grade one and I kept on praying to God to give me more years till my child could fend for himself,” she said.

At least 13 heart patients have so far successfully undergone open heart surgery conducted by a team of doctors led by Specialist Cardiovascular and Thoracic Surgeon, Dr Simukayi Machawira.

“We call upon those who need assistance to come through. We also encourage companies to support the government in this programme because it requires huge assistance for it to spread across the country. We also ask medical aid companies to desist from sending patients outside the country. We have doctors who can do open heart surgery here, we need your support to be recognised worldwide that our country can perform such surgeries,” said Dr Machawira.

Ms Wizinani has nothing but praise for the doctors.

“I would like to thank God for a successful operation. My gratitude also goes to the government for paying for the operation because, on my own, I know I wouldn’t have afforded it. I would also like to thank the doctors for a job well done and they are doing this wholeheartedly with love. I am proud of my country and doctors, China and India are now in Zimbabwe,” said Ms Wizinani.

A heart operation in India costs between 8,000 and 15,000 United States dollars depending on the complexity of the case.

For now, the Parirenyatwa Group of Hospitals is the only hospital offering open heart surgeries, with plans in motion to decentralise the services that are being offered for free.

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