Top doctor expresses confidence in Tanzanian heart surgeons

Friday November 10 2017


By John Namkwahe @johnteck3

Dar es Salaam. One of the top heart surgeons at the Jakaya Kikwete Cardiac Institute (JKCI) has expressed confidence in the institute’s ability to carry out complex surgical procedures.

Dr Bashiru Nyangasa, who is also JKCI’s acting director of Surgical Services Unit said on Friday November 10 that Tanzanian surgeons are potentially capable of performing complex procedures but their efforts are undermined by the shortage of medical equipment facing the institute.

"The problem is not lack of expertise to perform the heart surgeries. The thing is, we experience a critical shortage of medical supplies that are required to perform the surgeries," he revealed when responding to a question from this reporter who sought to know how JKCI experts collaborate with foreign surgeons.

“Most of the foreign experts come with the medical equipment and therefore we simply assist them to perform the surgeries,” he added.

Meanwhile, the specialists at JKCI in collaboration with foreign doctors from Saifee hospital based in Mumbai-India between November 8th-11th, 2017 performed 15 heart surgeries.

"We will discharge them once their conditions improve. Some are under physiotherapy and others have been admitted in a special room under tertiary care," he revealed."
“For the first time, we have performed a surgical procedure known as "Aortic Aneurysm Repair or "Open repair".

We thank our fellow experts from India for helping us to make the surgery successful. We have learnt a lot from them," he said.

He said the government would have spent over Sh400 million, an average of Sh27 million per patient, if the cases were to be referred abroad for the surgery, said Dr Nyangasa.

He further established that the total treatment cost for the procedures performed at the institute was Sh225 million, an average of Sh15 million per patient.
For his part, Saifee hospital cardiovascular surgeon, Dr Ali Behranwala thanked the JKCI management for their cooperation.

"We don't come here only to perform the surgeries and go back home, we are also dedicated to training the local doctors how to do similar procedures. We also welcome the local doctors in India to come and learn more," he said.

Furthermore, Dr Nyangasa revealed that the JKCI Sharjay Charity institute based in United Arab Emirates between November 14th - 19th, 2017 will perform minor heart surgeries in 50 patients. He therefore urged people to donate blood.