In October 2019, we began supporting the clinics for cardiac treatment at the main public hospital in Eritrea, Orotta Medical Surgical National Referral Hospital in Asmara.
In collaboration with the national ministry of health and the hospital’s staff, we began providing complete, continuous assistance for patients before and after operations at the cardiac clinics. We also set up the first clinic for oral anticoagulation therapy (OAT), which is crucial to improving the continuity of treatment for patients who have artificial heart valves as a result of operations.
Patients will be able to visit the cardiac clinics every day, and every six months a cardiologist from our Salam Centre will do follow-up checks on patients who have had operations in Sudan, and decide whether new patients need cardiac surgery.
The main aim of our project is to further strengthen our assistance and the continuity of our treatment for patients in Eritrea.
To prepare for the project, an EMERGENCY team (a nurse, a haematologist, a logistician and a biomedical engineer) worked at Orotta Medical Surgical National Referral Hospital for six weeks, giving training and support to the local staff who will manage the daily activities at our project.
As part of our regional cardiac surgery programme, we welcomed adult and child patients from more than 30 countries to our centre in Khartoum, and gave them operations totally free of charge.
Most of these patients have congenital and valvular illnesses, mostly rheumatic. These are particularly common in sub-Saharan Africa.
Once they have been transferred, admitted and given cardiac surgery, we help patients through all the successive phases, doing regular post-operative check-ups and giving them the medicine they need, even after they have returned to their own countries.
All our work in Eritrea is made possible by the ‘Emergency initiative to open a cardiac clinic at Orotta Hospital in Eritrea’, funded by the Italian Agency for Development Cooperation (AICS).