Heart patients appeal for early diagnosis machines
By Margaret Matibiri
HEART patients have appealed for local hospitals to be equipped with the latest technologies for early diagnosis of heart diseases and their treatment.
This somes as the nation prepares to join the rest of the world for World Health Day scheduled for September 29.
World Heart Day is a day that was chosen to commemorate and create awareness of heart conditions and call for action.
Speaking to the ZBC News, heart patient, Kudakwashe Chiwira (50) highlighted some of the challenges faced by heart patients.
“Diagnosis of the disease at its early stages is a challenge as we do not have the necessary technologies in most public health institutions,” he said.
“I am a rheumatic heart disease patient and the problem began in the mid-70s, only for me to be diagnosed with the condition in 2010 and unfortunately, a lot of other patients are still going through the same late diagnosis.
“I however went for surgery in Sudan in 2012. Once one is diagnosed with a heart condition and surgery is recommended, you are either referred to South Africa or India and in some instances, you will make it on the list of Salam Center free surgery.
“Unfortunately, South Africa and Indian options are very expensive. As for the Sudan hospital, the only challenge may be in raising airfares.”
Unfortunately the Salam Center and Indian hospitals have strict policies and only operate on HIV negative patients.
Another heart patient and founder of Zim Heart Trust, Farai Chiriseri, who suffered from rheumatism fever which was also not detected on time, lamented the cost of treatment.
“Most of the corrective surgeries are no longer being done locally and foreign treatment is difficult and expensive to secure, leaving patients vulnerable to getting duped by bogus agents,” he said.
Heart patients have also appealed for the availability of medication at affordable prices. They recently petitioned parliament to address challenges faced by the affected as they are struggling to access healthcare services.