A Cardiologist from the Aga Khan University Hospital in Nairobi has expressed concern over the high number of heart diseases in Garissa.
Addressing the press on Sunday at the Garissa County Referral Hospital, Dr. Mzee Ngunga, an interventional cardiologist at Aga Khan hospital said that out of 120 patients who turned up for checkup on day one, all had heart related ailments.
Dr. Ngunga said the four common cases so far diagnosed include cardiomyopathy (heart muscles are weak) caused by high cholesterol, Ischemic heart disease caused by coronary heart diseases, congenital heart disease (hole in the heart) caused by poor antenatal care and valvular heart disease caused by rheumatic heart disease.
The cardiologists who is leading a team of 105 doctors and nurses offering free screening and treatment to celebrate the hospital’s 60 years anniversary urged residents to go for regular checkups noting that heart conditions among children can easily be treated if detected early.
“Some of the diseases that can be treated among the children become more complicated with age. That is why we are recommending early screening among children because they can be corrected and will live a fruitful life afterwards,” Dr. Ngunga said.
“I must also emphasize that all heart conditions are treatable with both medication and corrective surgery once detected early,” he added.
The Health CEC, Ahmednathir Omar lauded the Aga Khan University Hospital for choosing Garissa county to offer the free screening and treatment clinic saying the initiative ‘will enable the less fortunate in the society to access the out of reach treatment for many Kenyans’.
Omar called on area residents to take advantage of the three days free clinic and turn up for heart condition screening.
The CEC said an active and healthy lifestyle was one of the surest ways of ensuring one is not at risk of contracting lifestyle diseases like diabetes, hypertension, obesity and cardiovascular diseases.
“The increasing incidents of heart diseases can be attributed to poor lifestyles, changing food habits and prevalence of obesity. This day serves as a stark reminder to combat the epidemic through a multi-pronged approach, namely prevention through improved awareness, diagnosis and combat through medicines, lifestyle changes and proper exercise.” Omar said.
The CEC said the county would continue working closely with Aga Khan Hospital so that they extend the same service to the other sub-counties of Balambala, Hulugho, Dadaab, Lagdera, Fafi and Ijara.
By Jacob Songok