The Ethiopian population of over 100 million citizens currently has no access to a continually functioning cardiac center, a bleak reality for a country with one of the highest prevalence of rheumatic heart disease, which is largely preventable and often caused by non-treated throat infections. In Ethiopia, it is the leading cause of acquired heart disease among children and young adults. At Tikur Anbessa Specialized Hospital in Addis Ababa there is a waiting list of over 8,000 patients for cardiac care that currently cannot be addressed.
The agreement not only covers construction of the new cardiac care center, but also renovation of an existing section of the TASH hospital. Renovation of an existing floor in the hospital will begin by June, 2018, and is expected to be completed before the end of the year. It will include installation of a dedicated cardiology operating theatre, a new Philips bi-plane interventional catheterization lab, and a cardiology ICU. This will increase capacity and enable surgical interventions to be performed before the new cardiac care center is ready.
“We want to transform cardiology care in Ethiopia, and in Philips we have a strong partner that understands our requirements and is able to provide a comprehensive hospital solution for state-of-the-art diagnosis and treatment of cardiac diseases, including capability building and skills transfer,” said Ato Amir Aman, Minister of Health (MOH) of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia. “Through this strategic collaboration, TASH will have access to Philips’ health technologies and services, as well as clinical education, IT integration and data analytics, allowing us to fully redesign our care processes for cardiology interventions.”
With the aim to improve access to quality healthcare in Africa the Netherlands government is contributing to this project with funding via the Netherlands Enterprise Agency RVO.
A specialist cardiology training program with the University of Cape Town has been integrated into the project. The program will impart specialist skills to the staff at the TASH hospital and garner local experience for the Ethiopian surgical team. In addition, Philips will be responsible for comprehensive maintenance of all equipment in the hospital five (5) years post the completion of the new cardiac center.