Ministry of Health Permanent Secretary for Technical Services Professor Lackson Kasonka has commended the Zambia Japan partnership in conducting successful heart surgery at the new National Heart Hospital in Chongwe district.
Prof. Kasonka notes that the facility which is able to conduct open heart surgery and other complex surgical problems has helped to decongest University Teaching Hospital.
He was speaking when he toured the facility to acquaint himself with the operations of the new hospital.
Prof.Kasonka added that the National Heart Hospital forged the cooperation with Japanese Tokushima International Cooperation (TICO) a non governmental organization in capacity building and mentorship to provide guidance on open surgery.
He noted that the country is able to conduct open heart surgery which was not the case in the past years as most cases were being referred outside the country at a great cost.
Prof. Kasonka said the Zambian Doctors are able to conduct heart surgery with the skill they acquired from TICO.
He noted that it was difficult to conduct heart surgery at University Teaching Hospital (UTH) owing to inadequate space in the of theatre which was competing with other health complications.
Prof. Kasonka further stated that government will engage its Japanese counterpart to enhance cooperation in healthcare and other medical health complications.
TICO Agent Tetsuro Nakamura said his non governmental organization had conducted 16 surgical cases at the Heart Disease Hospital since 2017 and the last five cases have been conducted at the New National Heart Hospital.
Dr. Nakamura added that there is a need to collaborate with the Zambian government to improve the medical equipment of the facility.
He said his organization is supporting Zambia to accelerate its developmental agenda in the health sector.
Dr. Nakamura said the focus of his organization is on technology transfer to ensure that Zambian doctors are equipped with the skills of conducting heart surgery at the new Specialised Heart Hospital in Chongwe district.
National Heart Hospital Superintendent Chabwela Shumba said the Hospital which began operations seven is now providing care for patients with cardiac disease.
Dr. Shumba disclosed that the Hospital has 120 beds and 25 beds in Intensive Care unit (ICU) making it the largest ICU in the country.
He said Hospital is catering for both adults and children with cardiac disease and it is also providing clinical cardiology and surgical cardiology.