Posted on 23 November, 2016

The team are now over their jetlag and have worked with the Jakaya Kikwete Cardiac Institute staff for a couple of days now. As our mission progresses, everything and everybody starts getting its rhythm.

The Jakaya Kikwete Cardiac Institute was inaugurated in September 2015 – although the people working here often worked together before. Nevertheless, it is still a relatively new program and as such is still in the process of optimising its operation.

Open Heart International’s (OHI’s) presence in Tanzania is not a one-off; it is planned that we will be coming here regularly for some years. The goal is to help turn the program into a self-sustainable, independant unit that has good turnover to serve the many patients waiting for surgery. Or in layman’s terms: “a well-oiled machine”.


This involves various areas; the program should ideally be able to attract enough funding (either from government or donations) so that its existance and growth can be guaranteed. Another area that will be improved is the procurement of consumables. Over time these should ideally be bought from local or regional distributors/suppliers rather than be flown in at a high cost with the various missions that come here. Also, there should be a good setup in place to insure that enough staff are being trained for the future. At present some of the key staff are being trained abroad with the help of foreign donations. OHI’s missions here also serve an educational purpose to the local staff in all areas. As one walks through the various areas, one can see the local team and the OHI teams exchange information and working together to improve all aspects of the JKCI.


Today started with the handover of ICU patients from the night shift to the day shift. Both the adult and the children’s surgical teams went to theatre and did two cases each. The second paediatric case needed to go back onto theatre which meant a long day for the paeds team.


And of course the ICU staff and ward nurses kept taking good care of patients. Our cartiologist, sonographer and physiotherapist have been busy too, as have our pharmacist and procurement manager.


Tags:  East Africa,