The Jakaya Kikwete Cardiac Institute (JKCI) in collaboration with the Save a Child’s Heart (SACH) based in Israel and Berlin Heart Centre based in German have successfully conduct a life saving heart surgery known as catheterization to 15 Tanzanian children with different heart problems.

The surgery that uses a gadget known as Cathlab was carried out at the special treatment camp for children that commenced on 20th January this year and it is expected to end today.    

Addressing reporters yesterday in Dar es Salaam Director of Cardiology Services Dr Peter Kisenge at the JKCI said that the treatment undertaken was meant to solve the heart problems to children aged from 1month to 18 years.

He added that the cardiology clinic also involves diagnosing of 32 hearts of children whereby 20 of them will obtain treatment services at the camp and other 15 will receive the treatment by next week.

The mission is an Israeli-German-Tanzania joint cooperation to save children’s lives, whereby the Save a Child’s Heart medical team travelled to Tanzania for a week of lifesaving catheterization to hold a cardiology clinic for children with heart disease problems.

“We have planned to serve 20 children, and we believe that upon the completion of the camp all children will be treated successfully,” he said. 

Dr detailed that since 2015, the JKCI started to collaborate with Save a Child’s Heart and Berlin Heart Centre whereby a total of 46 children have received heart surgeries in Israel.

The record shows that there are 79 children who have been treated in the camp since 2015, whereby in 2015, 11 children received treatment , in 2016 48 children received treatment and last year 2017 20 of them received the treatment.

For his part, the coordinator for children with heart problems from Israel Dr Simion Fisher said that over the past three years Save a Child’s Heart has led nearly ten medical missions to Tanzania, providing lifesaving paediatric cardiac care to dozens of Tanzanian children suffering from heart disease problems.

“This current mission will continue until Thursday (today) and the plan is to perform 17 catheterizations,” he said.

Since, 1999, Save a Child’s Heart has treated more than 600 children from Tanzania and Zanzibar and trained a paediatric cardiac surgeon, two paediatric cardiologists, one paediatric anesthesiologist, one intensive care specialist, one perfusionist, and four nurses all of whom are practicing locally.

According to him Tanzania has only one paediatric cardiac surgeon who is Dr Godwin Godfrey who completed a 5-year Save a Child’s Heart training programme in 2013 and returned to Tanzania to run a paediatric cardiac centre.

Since the return of Dr Godwin to Tanzania, he and his team performed surgery on 200 children and an additional 200 children were operated on by Dr Godwin together with surgeons from visiting delegations from Israel, Australia, Italy, the United States and Saudi Arabia.

Save a Child’s Heart is an Israeli based international non-profit organisation known worldwide for its commitment to saving lives by improving the quality of cardiac care for children from developing countries.

  • DIRECTOR OF CARDIOLOGY SERVICES DR PETER KISENGEDIRECTOR OF CARDIOLOGY SERVICES DR PETER KISENGE