An Operation Open Heart team has visited Papua New Guinea almost every year since 1993. Specialised medical and health personnel including surgeons, anaesthetists, physiotherapists, intensive care and operating theatre nurses and technicians all donate their time, skills, expertise and money to perform cardiac surgery on Papua New Guineans, two thirds of the patients being children.
Operation Open Heart is coordinated by the San in conjunction with Adventist Development and Relief Agency (ADRA), the Australian Agency for International Development (AusAID), and the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons. Nursing, medical and allied health professional staff, from all areas of Sydney and Australia, make up the team.
The team convert two ordinary operating theatres at the Port Moresby General Hospital into cardiac theatres. Operations can include the implantation of permanent cardiac pacemakers, surgery to overcome congenital heart defects such as “hole in the heart” or severe conditions such as “blue baby syndrome”, caused by multiple holes in the heart. The surgical program also includes the treatment of rheumatic heart valve diseases such as valve repair, the opening of narrowed valves and the replacement of severely damaged valves with artificial valves. (The visits also provide invaluable opportunities for PNG doctors and nurses to learn new skills).
Costs of this type of surgery alone would be $25,000 per patient if they were forced, or able, to travel overseas.
“Congenital Heart disease is one of the most common birth defects globally, affecting millions of children around the world” said Melanie Windus, Sydney Adventist Hospital’s Health Care Outreach Coordinator.
“It is estimated that one third of these children will die before their first birthday because of lack of appropriate care.
Following successful cardiac surgery, these patients lead active and normal lives.Information taken from this site.
By ZARA KANU (THE NATIONAL)
I can't honestly say I have ever been a Kamahl fan, but it was great that he was able to visit and help raise money and public awareness for this great cause. Suzie and Bruce put on a great lunch at the Rabaul Hotel and his concert at the Ralum Club, organised by the Rotary Club was well attended.
Phone connections here are terrible at the moment. It has delayed my posting and visiting is almost impossible as I can't upload your page properly or my comments onto your blogs. Not sure what the problem is but it is driving me nuts!!!! Will visit if and when I can.