On mission to implant pacemaker


Cardiology in Ethiopia has evolved tremendously over the past 20 years, especially in the state of Tigray where doctors and nurses have been trained by partnering with an externally organized structure such as our cardiology NGO.

The war stopped this progress, and sowed not only hunger and death but also made unusable many equipment that had been slowly helping the whole “life-saving” process of heart patients.

There are no more interventional cardiology or cardiac surgery structures available, so we questioned how we could help the cardiac patients in Tigray who currently have no escape route, even in Sudan, where they were going for surgery, there is war.

We thought that pacemaker implantation would be a first help for them that we could safely perform in Ayder University Hospital.

Having bought pacemakers, which we told you in a previous article , we departed for a new mission to Ethiopia, our team consisting of 2 doctors 3 nurses and a technical specialist logistician: Francesco Laurenzi, Elisabetta Zachara, Giovanna Cangi, Elisa Laghezza and Domenico Fanelli.

In five days, from September 18 to 23, 9 pacemakers were implanted in 9 patients, with the youngest aged 30 and the oldest aged 70.

The equipment arrived from Italy and was used locally with the assistance of the Ethiopian medical and nursing staff Dr Abraha and his team.

The efforts were enormous, but they once again made us reflect on the true meaning of our activity: save the life of people who have no chance, help people who had the bad luck to be born on the other side of the world.

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