A local hospital has conducted eight successful hip replacement surgeries in another medical milestone that brought hope to patients who feared they may never walk again.A team of doctors led by Mr George Vera recently conducted the procedures at Harare’s Westend Hospital over three days.
The Orthopaedic Surgeon Association of Zimbabwe, in partnership with the American Orthopaedic Surgeons, conducted the hip replacement procedures on patients at a much lower cost.
The head of delegation from the visiting American surgeons Mr Ryan Horaz Dovsky said his team was excited to be sharing orthopaedic knowledge with their Zimbabwean counterparts.
He indicated that as a regular visiting orthopaedic surgeon at Karanda Mission Hospital in Rushinga, Mashonaland Central Province, his team was more than willing, resources permitting, to spread their tentacles to the rest of the country, for the benefit of many Zimbabweans in need of orthopaedic procedures.
Representing the Orthopaedic Association of Zimbabwe, Mr Vera said the partnership with the American Orthopaedic Surgeons was important for skills transfer.
He said there was a shortage of orthopaedic surgeons in Zimbabwe whose surgeon to patient ratio stood at 1:1,3 million people when the international standard was one surgeon to 30 000 people.
Speaking on the surgeries, Westend general manager Dr Margaret Maulana emphasised how local hospitals were working hard, exploring various strategic partnerships with international healthcare organisations in a bid to reduce the cost of doing complex medical procedures locally.
The cost of the surgery when done outside the country ranges from $4 000 to $7 000, excluding air fares, accommodation for both patients and accompanying relatives where necessary.
But when it is done locally, the cost can be less than half.
The successful hip surgeons came after Zimbabwe scored another milestone in the medical field last year when a team of local specialists led by Mr Bothwell Mbuvayesango successfully separated Siamese twins, Tapiwanashe and Kupakwashe Chitiyo at Harare Central Hospital.