Open heart surgery Launch
12 May 2017
One in 100 children are born with congenital heart disease in Zimbabwe and a cardiovascular disease has the second highest non-communicable disease mortality rate after cancer, a cabinet minister has said.
Health and Child Care Minister, Dr David Parirenyatwa, speaking at the Open Heart Surgery launch at Parirenyatwa Group of Hospitals yesterday, said the termination of open heart surgeries in Zimbabwe in 2000 meant that parents had to either die at home or seek services outside the borders for medical assistance.
“Between 1995 and 2000, the hospital managed to perform over 400 open-heart surgeries before the department was closed due to lack of foreign currency needed to buy consumables as well as to repair the open-heart surgery equipment especially the heart-lung machine.
“Since then, Zimbabweans suffering from heart infirmities required US$30 000 to travel to South Africa or India for Surgery,” said Minister Parirenyatwa.
He further acknowledged his gratitude that now we have found relief for heart patients who had to travel outside our boarder for they have forged a partnership with (NOIC) National Oil Infrastructure Company which is a home grown solution to help the people and to utilize our own experts.
“I would like to recognise the efforts made by NOIC in mobilising funds for our patients who have difficulties in paying for the open-heart surgery because only a few people have been able to come up with US$30 000 needed to access theatre services in South Africa,” he said.
NOIC managed to present a cheque of US$350 000 to the hospital towards the funding of open-heart surgery.
He also added that the donation would go a long way in helping the hospital to retain highly skilled specialists.
Mr Thomas Zigora in his opening remarks at the ceremony also expressed his gratitude towards such a move to improve the delivery of health facilities locally.
“We as Parirenyatwa Group of Hospitals feel honoured and privileged to have the capacity to do open-heart surgery locally,” he said.
The Chairperson of NOIC, Dr Jimias Madzingira said after discussions with Parirenyatwa officials they discovered that the equipment to conduct the procedures are available in the country but the challenge was with the consumables required to in executing the procedures.
He also said that they will ensure that the programme benefits the truly deserving candidates.
“As NOIC and Parirenyatwa group of hospitals, we have put in a mechanism to ensure that the selection of beneficiaries will be done transparently to ensure the programme is accessed by truly deserving candidates.
In his conclusion, he said, “We are confident that the programme will bring a positive difference for a healthy nation will provide a healthy workforce and subsequently a productive country”.