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News Middle East & Africa

Doctors from the Boston Children's Hospital have been collaborating with colleagues from Kumasi for a couple of years. (Photo: Joseph Barillari)
Nov 5, 2012 | News Middle East & Africa

US surgeons visit Ghana to treat children with heart defects

by Surgical Tribune

KUMASI, Ghana: An American team from the Boston Children’s Hospital has recently visited the Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital (KATH) in Kumasi, Ghana, to perform free surgery on children suffering from heart defects. Within the last seven years, about 100 children from Ghana between the ages of one month and 17 years have been operated on free of charge by doctors from the Boston hospital.

As reported by the DailyGuideGhana.com website, this impressive achievement was made possible through collaboration between medical personnel from Boston Children’s Hospital and their colleagues at KATH. The trips to Ghana were partly sponsored by individuals and benevolent organisations in the US.

According to Dr Francis Fynn-Thomas, leader of the 32-member team, this time, some 20 children who had heart complications underwent free operations. He disclosed that his group had already performed free surgeries for 80 children with severe heart defects at KATH, each of which would have cost US$70,000. More than 400 children with heart-related problems had been screened within the last seven years by his team. Those whose conditions were most severe were chosen to undergo surgery. Additionally, over the seven-year period, the team has sponsored free operations for about 12 Ghanaian children with complicated heart problems performed in Israel, South Africa and other countries.

The US team has also pursued knowledge transfer to their counterparts at KATH, geared towards establishing a heart centre at the facility in future. KATH CEO, Prof. Ohene Adjei, said that the hospital has been sponsoring the studies of some of its staff all over the world in preparation for the centre. According to DailyGuideGhana.com, he said that plans are in the pipeline to establish a cardiothoracic centre in Kumasi but outside the hospital’s premises to reduce congestion.

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