Two Cardiologists from the Internal Medicine Directorate of Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital (KATH), Drs. Lambert Tetteh Appiah and Yaw Adu-Boakye made history by successfully undertaking the maiden pacemaker implantation procedures wholly by an in-house team for patients with defective heart conditions. Previous pacemaker implantation procedures at the hospitals have been performed for patients with slow heart beats under collaborations with visiting teams of partner hospitals from abroad.

In an interview, the two Cardiologists expressed their excitement about the outcome of their interventions and attributed the success to the hospital’s collaboration with the Guangdong Provincial Peoples Hospital of China and its team of Cardiologists led by Prof. Lin Chunying.

Equally historic is the conduct of a minimally invasive heart surgery for a hole in heart patient without opening the chest and the heart by a team of visiting Cardiologists from the Chinese hospital with the active assistance of Dr. James Amoah-Dankwah, also a cardiologist at the Internal Medicine Directorate of KATH.

According to Dr. Amoah-Dankwah, the procedure is the first of its kind to be performed in Ghana and is known as the “device occluder   technique”.

He said procedure lasts about 45 minutes and patients are discharged after a two day-stay at the hospital without any incisions or scars.

“With the new procedure which is a departure from open-heart surgeries which last around four hours, Doctors insert a thin tube into either the vein or the arteries or both through the groin to the heart.

“Through the tube, a mesh is deployed to close the hole in the heart without opening up the chest and the heart as is often the case in open heart surgeries” Dr. Amoah-Dankwah explained.

Dr. James Amoah-Dankwah with Prof. Chunying during the procedure

Prof Chunying pointed out this the new technique for treating hole in heart conditions was safer and more cost-effective. She therefore, entreated the hospital to endeavor to procure the needed equipment including a Cardiac Catheterization Laboratory (CATHLAB), to enable the local team to continue to perform these procedures on routine basis.

“The pacemaker implantation procedures by the KATH team were very successful and I am very happy that Ghana has a Pacemaker Implantation Team at KATH that can perform these advanced procedures on their own when given the right logistics and support, she stated.

The Chinese team’s collaboration with KATH dates back to 2015 and is primarily focused on training, research and donation of equipment to boost the delivery of cardiology services at the KATH. So far, 10 Doctors and Nurses have benefited from training in China and are making positive impact in the delivery of cardiology services at KATH.

According to Dr. Appiah and Dr. Adu-Boakye, this was the 5th mission of the Guangdong Provincial Peoples Hospital to KATH under the collaboration established by the two hospitals about five years ago.

 “The ultimate objective was to make KATH self-sufficient in the provision of Cardiothoracic service and research  and so far we are satisfied with the enormous progress we have made as a hospital in these area’’, they noted.

They appealed to corporate Ghana and philanthropists to support the hospital with equipment and other resources so that needy patients will have access to world class cardiology services.

The Director of Nursing Services, Ms. Georgina Afua Sam, on behalf of KATH Board and Management expressed her gratitude to the team from Guangdong Provincial Peoples Hospital China for its support over the years.

Pictures showing members of the KATH and Guangdong Provincial Peoples Hospital teams that took part in the historic procedures.

She urged members of the public with heart ailments not to resort to unorthodox means but make maximum use of the excellent crop of Cardiologists at the hospital to treat their conditions.

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