Monday, November 20, 2017
Tanzania introduces first care surgery
Tanzania has introduced the first-ever day care laparoscopy surgery, which offers great potentials of relieving patients of pains and significantly reducing congestions in hospital. The minimal invasive surgery, first introduced in the country at Kilimanjaro Christian Medical Centre (KCMC) in Moshi, is now widely used at the super specialised referral hospital, with patients calling, getting operated and discharged on the same day. The Head of General Surgery at KCMC, Dr Kondo Chilonga, who is also the pioneer of the key hole surgery in the country after getting expertise under the auspices of Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust of the United Kingdom, told the media here yesterday that the cost-effective procedure offers huge relief to patients and the hospital. Dr Chilonga said gone are the days when patients and families had to spend long time in recovery and support at the hospital, saying the burden has been purged, benefiting the nation as well because patients undergoing the surgery can return to economic activities earlier. Laparoscopy is a type of surgical procedure that allows the surgeon to access the inside of the abdomen and pelvis without making large incisions in the skin. Large incisions can be avoided during laparoscopy because the surgeon uses an instrument, laparoscope, a small tube with a light source and camera that relays images of the abdomen and pelvis inside to a television monitor. Having introduced the procedure, Northumbria medical experts stayed at KCMC hospital for a while before they returned to UK, but kept monitoring the procedures through a telemetry link and telemedicine technology that started in 2003 between Northumbria and KCMC. Dr Chilonga said by 2009/2010 KCMC were doing the surgery on their own, unless there were complications that necessitated communicating with Northumbria via audio video, with internet engineers facilitating the communications. As of now, thousands of procedures have been performed at the hospital, attracting patients from across Tanzania and neighbouring countries. Before patients had to be admitted before surgeries and stay for some days at the hospital but now dates are set and patients call, get operated and leave on the same day. Faster recovery, less pain and bleeding after the operation and reduced scarring are among the advantages of the new technology. Dr Chilonga said following the achievement, the hospital contemplates establishment of the fully-fledged unit for Laparoscopic Surgery. Having facilitated that at KCMC, Dr Chilonga and other staff have been offering training to medical practitioners from Muhimbili National Hospital in Dar es Salaam, Bugando Medical Centre in Mwanza and Mbeya Zonal Referral Hospital to spread the procedure.