550 operations in 13 years

Lead Cardiac Surgeon Parma Nand of the Friends of Fiji Heart Foundation addressing the media at the CWM hospital in Suva yesterday. Picture: JOVESA NAISUA

ABOUT five hundred and fifty surgeries have taken place in the past 13 years by the Friends of Fiji Heart Foundation (FOFHF) in the country.

Foundation associate board member Jasmeen Mohammed highlighted this during the last day of rheumatic heart disease (RHD) valve surgeries conducted at the Colonial War Memorial Hospital in Suva on Tuesday.

Ms Mohammed said these surgeries included 250 open heart surgeries, 40 paeds open heart, 75 angioplasty and 187 pacemaker.

“The cost per surgery is at $80,000 Fijian dollars and then there is a cost for angio team, pacemaker, clinical training and public awareness,” Ms Mohammed said.

“It gets close to 2000 people when you take pacemaker screening into consideration. The budget involves around $200,000 to $250,000 per trip which involves medical supplies, flights and accommodation for the team.”

She said the value delivered amounted to an excess of $F2 million, but more importantly they were touching the lives of hundreds of Fijians and their families.

“We are in Fiji for two weeks. How we select the patients was that hospitals around Fiji have a list of people requiring valve surgery,” Ms Mohammed said at the pre-screening, the cardiac team assessed more than 100 people and around 30 were short-listed.

She emphasised there was no favouritism.

She added since the surgeries conducted were specialist in nature, they could not leave anything in untrained hands.

“As such we have very highly skilled team leads who select their own teams for the mission under set criteria,” she said.

More Stories