By Zenak Matekenya
Karonga, September 20, Mana: Karonga District Hospital is this week hosting cardiologist Dr. Stephen Peck from United States of America (USA).
One the beginning of his work, Monday, Peck recommended change in management and treatment of about 45 percent of patients with heart problems and ruled out heart problem cases in about five patients.
Speaking in an interview Peck said there are limited resources at the hospital for diagnosis of heart illnesses.
“Laboratory testing is a challenge; they don’t have cardiac evaluations testing materials. This is a little bit of a problem but the young health workers who are caring for the patients here are hardworking and very interested in learning,” said Peck.
Peck added that there are some medications which the hospital was supposed to have and he will recommendation such medication to be included on the facilities procurement plan after wind up his work at the hospital.
He said some of the cardiac problems such as hypertension do not display a lot of symptoms and that patients of such conditions often times don not realize that they might have a medical problem until the situation becomes worse.
Peck then urged people of at least 40 years of age and above to go for routine medical checkup at least once a year for early cardiac related diagnosis.
Coordinator for Non-Communicable Diseases at Karonga District Hospital, Luckson Chiphiko said Peck’s visit to the hospital has provided some insights to health workers on how they can improve on investigation and treatment of cardiac cases.
He said diagnosing and managing as cardiac condition is not a simple exercise, saying it involves a lot of processes that can lead to the establishment of how best such a condition can handled.
“For example, we had a case which we just managed as cardiomyopathy, but upon conducting further tests and investigations with guidance from Peck, we established that it was a different condition and we changed management of the case.
About 45 percent of the patient’s prescribed treatments has changed and we have found out that five patients don’t have heart problems,” said Chiphiko.
Peck came to Malawi under a Health Facility Project and is working with Karonga Diocese of the Roman Catholic Church and will be going back to USA next week.