Tapiwa Mutizamhepo, Harare Bureau
Surgeons at Parirenyatwa Hospital in Harare have conducted a world record operation after successfully removing a 12,3 kilogrammes 11-year-old kidney cyst from a patient, a feat that speaks volumes of the country’s medical expertise and services.
The cyst becomes the largest to be removed in the world, with the previous record in Japan where a similar one weighing 11,5kgs was removed.
The complicated surgical procedure was conducted by a team of local doctors led by Consultant Urologist, Mr Shingirai Meki, who is also a lecturer at the University of Zimbabwe’s College of Health Sciences.
If sourced outside the country, the procedure costs upwards of US$11 000 but it was performed for ZW$2 000.
Addressing members of the media at the hospital yesterday, the institution’s Clinical Director, Dr Aspect Maunganidze, urged Zimbabweans to have faith in the country’s public health delivery system saying it has competent medical professionals that are able to carry out most of the services sourced externally.
“We encourage members of the public suffering from various ailments to seek medical attention at our health institutions because we still have the experts who can provide such services,” he said.
The sentiments were shared by the head of the medical operating team, Mr Meki, who said with enough support, most such services could be accessed locally thereby cutting on foreign medical tourism.
“Members of the public should be assured that most surgeries like these can be done at public hospitals.
We are very much able to deliver quality health care to our patients in a public setting and at affordable fees,” he said.
Mr Meki said it was important for patients to have confidence in their public health system which is cheaper compared to seeking services ouside the country.
Speaking at the same occasion, the patient, Mrs Milka Gwatiringa, said she once sought services from South Africa as she doubted the competency of the local institutions.
She blamed the media for concentrating on negative coverage of the health delivery system saying at times the media discourages patients from seeking help locally.
“After getting assurance from peers and friends, I came to Parirenyatwa and here I am, the 11-year-old tumor has been removed,” she said.
This is not the first time the country’s public health system has broken medical records.
In 2014 at Harare Hospital, a 50-member medical team successfully performed the first major operation to separate Siamese twins who were co-joined from the lower chest to the upper abdomen and shared a liver.