Health News of 2013-11-20

16 Children benefit from free open heart surgery at KATH

A team of 32 open heart surgeons from the Children’s Hospital, Boston (CHB) of the Harvard University in the United States of America (USA), in collaboration with doctors at the Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital (KATH) in Kumasi, has successfully performed open heart surgeries for 16 children suffering from cardiovascular diseases.

The surgeries, which were performed free of charge, bring to 105 the number of children with congenial heart defects who have so far benefited from the gesture since the team started its collaboration with KATH eight years ago.

According to the Leader of the team, Professor Francis Fynn-Thompson, 105 children aged eight months to 11 years were screened when the team arrived in Kumasi barely two weeks ago.

He explained that the 16 were selected for surgery because of their conditions and that each of them would have paid between GH¢10,000 and GH¢12,000 as cost for the open heart surgery.

“The surgeries were very successful and so far 11 out of the 16 have fully recovered and been discharged from the hospital,” he noted.

He said the team would leave for the USA today but their counterparts at KATH would monitor the progress of those still on admission until they were discharged.

Dr Fynn-Thompson, who is a Ghanaian, said the team’s next visit to perform a similar exercise would be in October next year, adding that to make the exercise sustainable, patients might have to pay a token for the open heart surgery.

“In future patients have to pay a token because you cannot have a cardio centre that does not generate money,” he explained.

Mr Winfred Kofi Wogblegbe, whose son benefited from the gesture, was full of praise for the surgeons.

He told the Daily Graphic that his son suffered from hole–in-heart and got tired easily.

“I did not pay a pesewa to correct my son’s heart defect and I thank the team from the USA and their Ghanaian counterparts very much,” he said.

He said his son was recovering speedily and expressed the hope that he would be discharged soon.