JKCI mulls Sh30 billion new heart facility to expand services

What you need to know:

  • The new facility is part of the expansion plans of the hospital to meet the growing demand.

Dar es Salaam. A new cardiac facility worth Sh30 billion is planned at Muhimbili National Hospital-Mloganzila to serve the increasing number of patients who are overwhelming the Jakaya Kikwete Cardiac Institute (JKCI).

The new facility is part of the expansion plans of the hospital to meet the growing demand.

The building of the new centre is expected to start towards the end of this year and will be completed in three years, JKCI head of quality assurance and paediatric cardiologist, Dr Naizihijwa Majani, said yesterday.

“There is an increase in heart patients from where we started about eight years ago. We began with 100 heart procedures per year and now perform over 400 heart surgeries per year,” said Dr Majani during the official visit by the China Embassy at the JKCI.

The new facility will be bigger than the current one, with about 300 beds, he said, adding that the facility will also be for both children and adults.

Currently, JKCI sees about 500 outpatients per day. The hospital cannot accommodate more than that due to a lack of beds, as they have limited beds at the Intensive Care Unit and in the wards, she says.

She said that by making more services available, the government is also making an effort to enable other hospitals like Benjamin Mkapa, Chato, and Bugando to allow cardiac treatment services to cut down on the number of cases being referred to JKCI. Representing the government, Dr Liggyle Vumilia from the Ministry of Health thanked the government of China for working closely with the government of Tanzania and for continuing to support the government’s efforts in delivering services.

“We are here to continue the good working relationship we had back in the day, during the days of our former President Mwalimu Nyerere from Tanzania and Chairman Mao in China,” said Dr Liggilye.

He said that over the years, China has been sending Tanzania a team of doctors to work with Tanzanian doctors and treat Tanzanians, as well as having a number of doctors trained in China who are now serving the lives of Tanzanians.

Deputy managing director at the JKCI, Dr Tatizo Waane, said the new project is through the collaboration of the Tanzanian and Chinese governments under the feasibility of the expansion and upgrading of the Jakaya Kikwete Cardiac Institute (JKCI). The discussion between these two governments started in 2006, when the two presidents, President Hu Jintao and President Jakaya Kikwete, met.

The feasibility study aimed at making the JKCI the Centre of Excellence for Cardiovascular Diseases in East and Central Africa.

Dr Waane said the plot for the new project is ready, and it will help more cardiac patients get treatment that will meet their needs.