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Health News of Thursday, 16 January 2014

Source: Cameroon Tribune

150 Children Await Heart Surgery

A delegation from the Shisong Cardiac Centre in Kumbo met with Public Health Ministry officials on January 15, 2014 in Yaounde.

Over 150 children, aged below 18 years, and diagnosed with congenital and acquired heart diseases, are in urgent need of surgery at the Shisong Cardiac Centre in Kumbo, Bui Division of the North West Region. They come from underprivileged families which cannot afford the cost of FCFA Three million needed for each operation.

A delegation from the Centre was in Yaounde yesterday, January 15, 2014, for a meeting of the Follow-up Committee for the Implementation of the Public Health Ministry-Shisong Cardiac Centre Memorandum of Understanding signed in 2010. Presenting the 2014 Annual Work Plan, the General Manager of the Shisong Cardiac Centre, Sister Jethro Nkenglefac, pleaded that the Public Health Ministry should go beyond funding operations of sick civil servants to include sponsoring at least 10 of the underprivileged children this year.

In response, the Director in charge of Healthcare Organisations and Health Technologies in the Public Health Ministry, Prof. Arthur George Essomba, said there was not yet any such arrangement in the budget, but expressed hope that a good advocacy strategy in that direction might help open up opportunities for such assistance.

While other planned actions include personnel recruitment and training, the Shisong Cardiac Centre also hopes government will grant a waiver for custom duties on urgent shipment of drugs and send staff on secondment in addition to the FCFA 30 million yearly subvention.

The Cardiac Centre, which is part of the St. Elisabeth's Catholic General Hospital in Shisong, is the only health institution in the sub-region that offers open-heart surgeries.

According to its Resident Cardiac Surgeon, Dr Charles Mve Mvondo, 101 open-heart surgeries were performed in 2013, with a mortality rate of only 7.8 per cent. "The objective for 2014 is to treat 150 patients to reach the objective of 598 cases treated since 2005 when the Centre started functioning," he said. Some 5,300 consultations were carried out in 2013, with most cases coming from the Centre Region.