JKCI, US facility saves babies with heart problems

30Sep 2018
James Kandoya
Guardian On Sunday
JKCI, US facility saves babies with heart problems

THE Jakaya Kikwete Cardiac Institute (JKCI) in collaboration with Mending Kids of the United
States and Italy has for the first time conducted a pulmonary Atresia Intact Septum surgery to a five week infant.

THE Jakaya Kikwete Cardiac Institute (JKCI).

The infant was born with pulmonary Atresia Intact Septum which prevented the flow of blood from the heart to the lungs.

JKCI paediatric cardiologist Naiz Majani said they were able to save the life of the infant who was attended to and started undergoing treatment at the fourth week.

“This was the first time to conduct such an operation, with 90 percent of babies suffering from the condition dying before reaching six months,” he said.

Pulmonary Atresia Intact Septum was among great inborn problems, the medic noted, saying it contributes to three percent of cases of children born with cardiovascular ailments.

On her part, the baby’s mother, Julieth Koshuma said she gave birth to her child at Seliani hospital in Arusha and the baby was diagnosed with the problem two days later as the skin turned colour to blue.

The infant was also crying intensely while heart beats were too rapid, and has to be referred to JKCI,, she elaborated

The surgery exercise used the cathlab method where the baby underwent a narrow opening of the chest to allow inner operation.

 JKCI has in recent months been recognised as a centre of monitoring congenital heart problems and surgery for children around the region and beyond.

Experts from the child health facility of the United States, International Quality Improvement Collaborative (IQIC) for Congenital Heart Disease has been collaborating with JKCI as part of its mission, to provide benchmarking data for congenital heart surgery in the developing world.

IQIC is also dedicated to train African experts on cardiovascular operations, including those from Tanzania. Currently, the JKCI clinic attends between 25 and 30 children patients daily.