Jakaya Kikwete Cardiac Institute to Spread Heart Treatment Wings

Prof. Mohamed Y. JanabiProf. Mohamed Y. Janabi

The Jakaya Kikwete Cardiac Institute (JKCI) is intending to extend its expertise on cardiovascular treatment to other facilities throughout the country, in a bid to improve the cure of heart ailments.

JKCI Executive Director, Prof Mohamed Janabi revealed this in Dar es Salaam, over the week when the Israeli Minister of Defence, Mr Avigdor Liberman, visited the institute. According to Prof Janabi, JKCI experts will translate knowledge obtained from various training support and camps to health facilities including Benjamin Mkapa and Bugando hospitals.

“The aim is to reach out to as many heart patients as we can by availing similar services in other facilities in the country,” said Prof Janabi. He pointed out that the support accorded by Israel has enabled JKCI experts to carry out 65 per cent of all heart surgeries at the institute.

“Previously, the institute could only conduct surgeries by 30 per cent, but with the support that we have been receiving … now 65 per cent of all heart surgeries are being done by our experts and the remaining 35 per cent with assistance of medical teams from abroad,” said Prof Janabi.

Prof Janabi observed that the assistance has enabled the country to save up to 70bn/- by carrying out heart surgeries on 2,440 patients who were suffering from heart diseases, instead of transferring them abroad in the past four years. “Our goal was to reach as many patients as we could by the year 2020 and we have done that, the current goal is to go above 80 per cent,” he noted.

He pointed out that the achievements are made possible through training provided to five doctors and four nurses with the institute by the support of the Government of Israel. The Minister of Health, Community Development, Gender, Elderly and Children, Ms Ummy Mwalimu noted that previously, out of 100 people with heart defects, 80 people travelled abroad for treatment.

She pointed out that the support from the Government of Israel has helped JKCI to perform about 400 surgeries on children and only 45 complicated cases were done through the support of Save a Child’s Heart, an Israeli-based International NGO. “We are very thankful to Israel for allowing their expertise to be translated to our country in the area of cardiovascular diseases,” said the Minister.

Since 1999, Save a Child’s Heart has treated more than 600 children from Tanzania and Zanzibar. The mission is to improve the quality of paediatric cardiac care for children in developing countries and creating centres of competence in the countries.