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Sierra Leone News: Cardiologists perform free heart surgeries

Cardiologists from England and United States are in town to help treat heart patients that have been diagnosed to be in critical condition at the Choithram hospital.
Dr. James Russell said he attended the African Cardiology conference and he was able to lobby for Sierra Leone to have the opportunity to get free Cardiology treatment. “I succeeded in getting the opportunity after discussions with Harish Agnani of Choithram hospital. He agreed to buy the various equipment needed for such operations.”
Dr. Russell said after putting all modalities in place the four Cardiologists came after they have diagnosed 15 patients. Nine of them were urgent cases. He said of the nine they have prepared for the operations, two of them disappeared and don’t know their whereabouts.
“The operations started on Monday with two cases being done successfully as both of them have the pacemaker implanted into their hearts. They are doing fine and the woman, 67-year old Aminato Mahoi, was very lucky as she collapsed in front of the doctors because her heart beat was 35 beats per minute, which was very low.”
He said she was lucky that she collapsed in the hospital because they were able to save her life. Dr. Russell said this kind of operation in Ghana cost between $7,000 to $10,000 USD, which none of the patients could afford.
“This is my own contribution that I am able to make and it won’t be one off as we will try to do it annually.”
Haraish Agnani of Choithram hospital said this is not the first camp they are working with as he said they have about six different teams that come every year to help.
“Our own contribution is to provide the hospital food and subsequent follow-up free of charge for the patients and we will continue to do it. We are happy to have hosted Dr. Russell and his team and we look forward for more medical camps in the future.”
Balasundaram Lavan, who is the founder of Pace4life UK, and Craig Alhmandinger of Project My heart your Heart, are providing the pacemakers that used in the patients.
They said they are happy to be in Sierra Leone working with the Cardiologists to save lives. They promised to come back and continually provide the pacemakers as and when necessary.
Speaking to Mohamed A. Kamara, 68, said he was happy to have been operated upon and he is stable and thanked all those who have saved his life.
Aminata Mahoi gave us the permission to use her photo because she said she wants others to know that these doctors came to Freetown to save lives and she has been one of the fortunate ones that have succeeded for her life to be prolonged.
Wednesday February 14, 2018.

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