By Ahmed Sahid Nasralla (De Monk)
One year after the first humanitarian Cardiology mission to Sierra Leone, Prof. Thomas Crawford is back in the small West African country to follow up and evaluate patients whose pacemakers were implanted by the Country Team and those patients treated during the First Humanitarian Cardiac Mission.
And history has been made once again as IntraCardiac Defibrillators (ICD’s) have been surgically implanted alongside with the Country Team free of cost for patients who met the requisite indications.
In addition, more Intracardiac pacemakers have been successfully implanted in patients at the Choithram Memorial Hospital at Hill Station, Freetown.
The humanitarian Cardiology Mission is done in collaboration with the Choithram Memorial Hospital.
It could be recalled that in February 2018, a team of International Cardiologists comprising of Prof. Thomas Crawford from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, in the United States of America and Prof. Zaheer Yousuf from the Cardiff University in the United Kingdom, alongside the Sierra Leone Team comprising Dr. James Russell and Choithram’s Staff, successfully implanted several Intracardiac pacemakers at the Choithram Memorial Hospital for the first time in the history of the nation.
Subsequently, the Local Team headed by Dr. Russell had successfully implanted several Intracardiac pacemakers in Sierra Leonean patients who were suffering from bradyarrhythmia. This is a case of very slow heart rate requiring treatment.
The surgical procedures have been successful with favourable outcomes in improvement in the quality of life of the implanted patients.
The practice of Cardiology in Sierra Leone is gradually being transformed from a “ECG paper based Cardiology” to an invasive Cardiology.
“With time, the practice of Cardiology would be fully appreciated by all, especially with the availability of a Cardiac Catheterization Laboratory in the country,” said Dr. Russell.