The Mater Hospital has a program where they treat cardiac and heart related diseases.
The Mater Cardiac Program
In Kenya thousands of children suffer from cardiac ailments. These are principally of two kinds namely congenital and acquired. Adults on the other hand suffer from Coronary Artery disease or Rheumatic Heart disease.
Congenital Heart Disease
This means the child is born with a heart defect i.e. ‘A hole in the heart’. There are many varieties e.g. a trial septal defect, ventricular, patent ductus or a defect of the valves or major vessels entering or leaving the heart.
Acquired Heart Disease
In children this is, for the most part, caused by Rheumatic fever. This condition starts as a simple sore throat infection, which can complicate into Rheumatic Fever with serious consequences for the heart in the long-term. Some young adults also present with Rheumatic Heart Disease.
Coronary Heart Disease
Coronary problems are becoming increasingly common in adult Kenyans largely due to changing lifestyles and smoking.
Fortunately in the last 20 years investigations and management of heart disease has made great strides. Closed and open heart surgeries as well as cardiac catheterization procedures are now available in Kenya.
A few years ago,only those from well to do backgrounds could access this treatment and they usually went overseas for it. The poor were destined to live lives of chronic ill health and die prematurely.
In1995, Mater Hospital started its own heart program and the first Open Heart Surgery was done in 1996. Now more than 2500 heart procedures (both diagnostic and therapeutic) have been carried out.
The Mater Heart Program is now well established and the hospital has all the facilities and expertise required to investigate and carry out corrective surgery. “Missions” from overseas comprising of surgeons, cardiologist, anaesthetists, nurses and ICU experts visit Mater regularly. In this way transfer of skills ensures that the Mater Program is second to none in East Africa.