Doctors at the Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital (KATH) in Kumasi have for the first time performed a successful heart surgery without opening the heart of the patient. They successfully planted a pacemaker to help accelerate the heart-beat of the patient, a teenage girl who was suffering from a hole-in-heart.
It was the first time such a procedure was being used by local doctors in Ghana. A normal human heart is expected to beat 60 times per minute but patients with a weak heartbeat have beats between 25 and 30 times per minute. Through surgery, doctors normally plant a pacemaker, in the chest or abdomen to help control abnormal heart rhythms.
The device uses electrical pulses to prompt the heart to beat at a normal rate. Speaking after the successful operation, the Head of Nursing at KATH, Georgina Afua Sam said the feat achieved was made possible as a result of a collaboration between the Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital and a Chinese hospital, Guangdong Provincial People’s Hospital.
KATH and the Guangdong Provincial People’s Hospital have a working Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) which is in the form of training, research and providing of equipment to help build the capacities of Ghanaian doctors.