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Thousands of Patients With Heart Problems Overwhelm Heart Institute

Thousands Of Patients With Heart Problems Overwhelm Heart Institute

The Uganda Heart Institute (UHI) has said that it is struggling with many cases of patients in need of heart-related surgeries. The institute said these cases have piled up over time amidst limited resources and supplies.

As the country joined the world to mark International Heart Day, Dr. John Omangino, the Executive Director of the institute expressed his concern.

He said even with the best equipment and human resources, the facility might be too expensive for the majority of the patients in need of care.

According to the Ministry of Health, cardiovascular diseases account for 17.3 million premature deaths.

Further, the ministry said this number is more likely to increase to 23 million deaths by the year 2030. Hypertension according to Omangino, causes more than 500,000 deaths every year.

Currently in Uganda, every 1 in 4 adults has high blood pressure. And it is also estimated that of the 1.6 million babies born every year, 1% (16,000) suffer from congenital heart disease.

Half of this number is serious enough to assure intervention.

‘’The truth is that it (heart surgery) is an expensive service. If you have heart surgery at the institute, it is $5000,’’ he said.

However, causes of many heart diseases are many, known, and preventable.

These include poor lifestyle, lack of adequate exercise, smoking tobacco, alcoholism, and poor diet among others. Therefore, Omangino said prevention is better than cure.

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