Botswana has seen 312 patients undergoing open heart transplants Assistant Minister of Health and Wellness Setlhomo Lelatisitswe has told Parliament.
“We had 304 successful operations and eight were not successful. Out of the eight, five people died in twelve months of post-operation and the other three patients died immediately after operation.”
The total cost of operations from 2009 to 2019 through insourcing in collaboration with Mauritius cardiac team ranged from P2.4 million to P4.5 million. Through outsourcing to Bokamoso Private Hospital and South African Private Hospital from 2016 the total cost ranged from P20 million to P24 million.
The Assistant Minister told Parliament that currently no Motswana is being trained on the field of a heart surgeon and that is why government relies on collaborations and outsourcing.
“There are many challenges associated with open heart surgery. These include a critical shortage of specialised human resource, equipment, medicines and other resources needed for provision of this service routinely in the country. The Ministry of Health and Wellness is currently implementing the Botswana Organ transplant policy which was approved in 2014 and whose aim is to create an enabling environment for organ replacement services. The policy is at its Mid-term review this financial year,” Lelatisitswe said.
The licensing of more private hospitals in Botswana is expected to result in organ transplants which are a form of tertiary prevention for service of amped organ damage are expected to be available in Botswana. Hence an organ transplant programme may become feasible in the near future and the prospects of an organ transplant may be visible.
He said: “The public health of 2013 makes provision for such developments, however these services are part of full spectrum of health care that will be provided by Sir Ketumile Masire Teaching Hospital once fully commissioned.”
Member of Parliament for Mahalapye West David Tshere had asked the minister to appraise Parliament on open heart surgery in Botswana and to state how many patients have had open heart surgery in Botswana for the past ten years, of the operated patients how many had successful operations and how many were unsuccessful.
The minister was to also state the associated cost on yearly basis and to state the Ministry`s plans in relation to establishment of an “Organ Bank” heart replacement facilities or any policy related on heart related illnesses.