Shisong Cardiac Centre – Revisiting Seven Years of Pace-Setting Work

By Kimeng Hilton Ndukong

The centre held an Open Door Day in Yaounde on March 16, 2016, announcing the operation of over 550 open heart surgeries.

The Cardiac Centre of the Saint Elizabeth Catholic General Hospital, Shisong, Kumbo in Bui Division of the North West Region, is seven years already. In order to make its activities and services better known to the public, the management held an Open Door Day at the Yaounde Hilton Hotel on March 16, 2016, to exhibit its achievements. Among dignitaries at the event was the Apostolic Nuncio to Cameroon and Equatorial Guinea, His Excellency Piero Pioppo.

Speaking at the opening, the Minister of Public Health, Andre Mama Fouda, said having successfully operated over 550 open heart cases in seven years, it was no longer necessary for Cameroonians to travel abroad for treatment, given that the cost of treatment in Shisong is five times lower than in Europe; yet patients receive the same quality treatment. "An open heart surgery costs only 3 million FCFA. We think that all Cameroonians need to have confidence in our health system, particularly the treatment of cardiovascular diseases in the Shisong Cardiac Centre and the Douala General Hospital," the Minister noted.

Andre Mama Fouda appealed to Cameroonians to seek treatment in Shisong. "Cameroon is fast becoming a medical tourism destination. The Shisong Cardiac Centre does not make any profit, with patients treated equally," he added. On her part, the General Manager of Shisong Cardiac Centre, Rev. Sister Jethro Nkenglefac, explained that the day was aimed at sharing information, statistics, results and projecting videos of their work.

We had the impression that many people were not informed about our activities, thus the organisation of the Open Door Day to coincide with the holding of the Scientific Conference of the Cameroon Cardiac Society. Some people still travel out of the country for health problems that can be handled locally. The centre is there to serve the public. That is why President Paul Biya declared it a public utility facility," Rev. Sister Jethro Nkenglefac pointed out.

While appreciating the support of government and partners, the General Manager appealed for the tarring of the short distance from the centre to Kumbo town. Another challenge is the high cost of electricity. The Shisong Cardiac Centre has 80 beds and 12 others for intensive care.

There are two operating theatres for adults and children, and a team in charge of managing equipment. The centre carries out operations for congenital and acquired heart diseases, with only 1 or 2 per cent of patients referred abroad. So far, over 35,000 patients have been consulted for heart problems and over 10,000 others attended to in five regions as part of the mobile clinic initiative.

Source: All Africa