Ghanaian doctors perform heart surgery without opening patient’s heart for the first time

Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital
  • Ghanaian doctors at the Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital (KATH) have made history.
  • The local doctors successfully performed a heart surgery without opening the heart.
  • According to the doctors, the procedure tkes between 30 to 35 minutes.

Ghanaian doctors at the Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital (KATH) in the Ashanti Region have for the first time performed a successful heart surgery without opening the heart.

The doctors explained that the procedure which takes between 30 to 35 minutes, is one of the safest procedures to adopt.

This is the first time local doctors in Ghana have successfully conducted such a procedure in Ghana.

The Head of Nursing at KATH, Georgina Afua Sam, they achieved this due to a collaboration between the hospital and a Chinese Hospital, Guangdong Provincial People’s Hospital.

She explained to Accra-based Citi FM that doctors from the Chinese hospital often come to KATH to help perform the surgeries by this method. However, the Ghanaian team performed the surgery alone by using the same method this time.

“In April this year, we signed an MOU with them in China for continued collaboration, capacity building and providing of facilities. For this fifth time, normally when they come, (all the missions) they do open heart surgery and pacemaker. For this time, they didn’t do any open-heart surgery, they did the valve and the replacement in which the heart was not opened. This is the first time in Ghana and this time too it was done at the Komfo Anokye Teaching hospital. We are so happy that our cardiologists had the opportunity to do the first pacemaker surgery which had a lot of benefits for the patient”.

The Head of Nursing at KATH explained that after the successful operation, they are confident that they can handle such issues in times to come.

“What we are saying is that we’ve started. We want the community, the entire nation as a whole to know that Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital has started and patients can come. They are warmly welcomed.”

The team leader from the Guangdong Provincial People’s Hospital, Prof. Lin Chunying said her outfit with support from the Chinese government sent some Ghanaian cardiologists to be trained in China. This was to ensure that Ghanaian doctors can apply the new cardio technique.

“From 2014, we have been training doctors in Ghana. The first Doctor is Dr. Francis from the Korle Bu Teaching Hospital and subsequently, we trained other doctors from the Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital. All of them were under training for one year. They studied PCI, Intervention Operation including Pacemaker. After their training, they came back to Ghana and they tried to do operations themselves. So from 2014, I carried my team to Ghana to help them build their capacities and now they can do pacemaker themselves.”

“I think in the future, the Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital, since they have a Pacemaker team, maybe every week, they can finish Pacemaker themselves to save more lives,” she added.

However, some doctors said they lack some of the needed equipment to facilitate their work. They, therefore, appealed to the government and other stakeholders to support them in that regard.

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