Sudan-based doctors perform free heart screening and treatment

By John Nhandara

A TEAM of doctors from Sudan’s Salam Centre for Cardiac Surgery is in the country to conduct free screening and treatment services for heart patients.

The gestures comes as sweet news to 35-year-old Rumbidzai Jawona, who never thought she would live a normal life again after she was diagnosed with a heart ailment which left her bedridden.

As a result, she was forced to drop out of school.

Rumbidzai’ story is similar to that of 50-year-old Kudakwashe Chiwira, also diagnosed with a heart condition and could not afford cardiac surgery in South Africa.

Kudakwashe had no other resource and option, but to rely on prayers for his fate.

The two, together with more than 40 others, have benefited from free cardiac surgeries conducted by the Sudanese doctors.

“When I discovered I had a heart disease, I had to undergo an immediate cardiac surgery. So I went to South Africa and failed to pay for the bills. Under this programme, I received free surgery in Sudan,” said Chiwira.

“I was failing to breath after I had enrolled at college and couldn’t walk, so I had to drop out until I underwent surgery,” said Jawona.

The team of surgeons has been helpful in providing pre and post-operative care for heart patients.

“The team has been quite helpful. They intend to help a group of 50 in this particular exercise. Meanwhile, plans are afoot to establish a cardiac surgery centre in Zimbabwe,” said Dr Wilfred Muteweye, a cardiothoracic surgeon.

“We have proposed to capacitate local personnel with training. We want to establish a centre here and plans are already there to sign a memorandum of understanding with the Ministry of Health and Child Care,” said Dr Luca Rolla, the regional programmes director.

Cardiac surgery, also known as cardiovascular surgery, is a surgical procedure that involves the heart or blood vessels that carry blood to and from the heart.