"At the specified hospitals a patient with chest pain will be diagnosed with a heart problem and it will be reported to the UHI."
PIC: From left, WHO Non-Communication Disease focal person Dr. Hafisa Kasule, Uganda Heart Institute director of Dr. John Omagino and health minister Jane Aceng mingle during an alignment meeting in Kampala. (Credit: Saudha Nakandha)
KAMPALA - With the increased cases of heart attack in the country Uganda Heart Institute (UHI) has started collaboration with twelve hospitals to manage heart disease in the shortest time.
The collaboration coined 'Uganda Stem Network will see many Ugandans manage heart emergencies in one hour.
Speaking during an alignment meeting in Kampala, UHI executive director Dr John Omagino said the move would improve better heart service delivery. On a weekly basis the institute gets 15 complicated heart attack case.
"At the specified hospitals a patient with chest pain will be diagnosed with a heart problem and it will be reported to the UHI, arrangements to will then be made to treat the patient. This will reduce on the number of people who die from heart attacks,," Omagino said.
The programme which is being implemented by UHI in partnership with Medtronic and ministry of health will be piloted in the selected hospitals and later rolled out countrywide.
The selected hospitals are Mulago National Referral hospital, China friendship hospital Naguru, Rubaga, Nsambya, Kibuli, Case Medical Centre, Victoria University hospital,International hospital, Nakasero and Novic hospitals among others..
He added that the system would work with backing of the ambulances and choppers which the Institute hopes to get after liaising with government arm police.
According to Omagino Nurses will be trained on how to use the Electrocardiogram (ECG), a test that checks for problems using electrical activity of a person's heart.
Uganda currently has one catheterisation laboratory at the UHI which treats over 1000 heart patients annually. A catheterization lab is an examination room in a hospital with diagnostic imaging equipment used to visualize the arteries of the heart and the chambers of the heart and treat any stenosi abnormality found.
A heart attack occurs when blood flows to the heart is suddenly blocked by a blood clot. And if blood flow is not restored quickly, the affected portion of the heart begins to dysfunction.
A heart problem or attack manifests with pain in the centre of the chest, discomfort in one or both arms, back, neck jaw or below the breastbone more than a few hours.
Others are shortness of breath with or without chest discomfort and feeling unusually tired for no reason among others.
Health Minister Dr Jane Aceng noted ignorance about heart diseases is one of the challenges government is facing in eradicating Non Communicable diseases (NCDs).
"According to the recent report on NCDs Heart diseases are on the rise, hypertension at 10% diabetes at 3% and about 97% of the population doesn't know about NCDs," she said.