Cyprian Musoke and Harriette Onyalla writing in the Sunday Vision…
KAMPALA International Hospital (IHK) has once again successfully carried out open heart surgeries. Five operations, worth $35,000 (over sh61m), were carried out last week.
The five patients operated on in the last five days are Patrick Imoni, 30, Thabit Senfuka, 24, Afra Namirimu, 10, Rashid Matovu, 8, and Dan Bakira, who is one year and four months old.
Addressing the press at the hospital headquarters in Namuwongo yesterday, IHK director Dr. Ian Clarke, who described it as a breakthrough, said the operations were more complicated than the last. They involved cardiopulmonary (heart-lung) bypass, valve repairs and sealing heart holes.
“We are happy that Mulago Hospital and us are doing brilliant things together. We did the first round of open-heart surgery and there were all sorts of appeals to equip us. We have the ability to do it, we just need leadership,” Clarke said.
This is the second time the hospital has carried out heart surgery. Two patients were operated on in April. They were the first people to have their hearts corrected in a Ugandan hospital. Most heart patients go abroad for treatment.
“A full normal life is expected for the five patients now that they have undergone this surgery successfully,” said Clarke. “They are to be discharged between the 7th and 10th post-operation day,” he added.
IHK’s first heart patients, Mark Atwine and David Kalenjera, have fully recovered.
The IHK director said the hospital had fulfilled its promise to carry out heart surgeries on a regular basis, and appealed to the Government and companies to come to their aid and sponsor patients who need treatment.
Last week’s operations, which cost $7,000 per patient, were sponsored by Hwan Sung Group of Companies. More surgeries at the hospital are scheduled for February, May, August and November next year.
“We plan to carry out valve replacements next year. Many patients needing heart surgery in Uganda need it for malfunctioning valves,” said Dr. Moses Galukande, a general surgeon and the heart surgery project manager at IHK.
Sung-Hwan Kim, the chairman of Hwan Sung, told the press conference that he was pleased to give new lives to five Ugandans.
“I think five lives are far more valuable than $35,000 and it is my way of giving back our business profits to the society. “I will develop and expand, step by step, these free medical services to help poor patients continuously in future. I hope that the beneficiaries will be as many as possible,” Sung, who is also the Korean consul to Uganda said.
Excitement over and contentment with IHK’s strides in heart surgery were visible on the faces of the heart surgery team.
The lead cardiothoracic surgeon in both the first and second operations has been Dr. Clement Akomea Agyin, a British national of Ghanaian descent, working at St. Anthony’s Hospital in London. He was assisted by Tom Mwambu from Mulago Hospital and Galukande. The intensive care team consisted of Dr. Edward Khandazapov and nurse Lillian Nakayiza and her team.
The support department included laboratory nurses, pharmacy staff, bio-technicians, general ward nursing, general administrative team’s Rachael Anuwo and Dr. Michael Muhame. The anaethesiologist team was led by Dr. Stephen Ttendo assisted by Cephas Mijumbi of Mulago Hospital, Dr. Joseph Ejoku and Dr. Ronald Nangamba.