Namibians Line Up for Heart Surgery

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By Petronella Sibeene

WINDHOEK

The newly opened cardiac unit in the country will carry out between 100 and 150 heart surgeries per year, says the Deputy Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Health and Social Services, Dr Norbert Forster.

The cardiac unit officially launched last week has so far seen nine heart patients undergoing surgery.

According to Dr Forster, seven of the patients are recovering very well while one is still on ventilation and another on oxygen.

Surgery carried out involved the replacement of heart valves, diseased through rheumatic fever complications. If not treated, the condition can lead to heart failure and low quality of life, making patients susceptible to infections and various other health problems.

A team of cardiologists and cardio-thoracic surgeons, anaesthetists, and theatre and intensive care unit nurses last week carried out heart operations on nine Namibian patients in the first-ever cardiac unit in the country.
The team has already returned to South Africa.

Heart patients are still in hospital being monitored by Namibian general surgeons and intensive care unit personnel.

Another South African doctor is expected to arrive in the country on Friday on a follow-up mission, Dr Forster told New Era.

The deputy permanent secretary also said that at the moment there is no exact working list for patients but the ministry will soon come up with one.

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