UoN and Novartis join hands to ease the pain of patients with heart disease
Patients with heart condition across the country has a reason to smile after the University of Nairobi and Norvatis Pharmaceuticals joined hands to ease their suffering.
Deputy Governor of Nyeri, Dr. Caroline Karugu, said that the donations will go along way in improving the quality of life of Kenyans. He revealed that the Ministry of Health working closely with the 47 counties is in the process of rolling out Universal Health Coverage, UHC. “25% of mortality in Kenya are due to cardiovascular diseases. Cardiovascular diseases are costly to diagnose and to manage and with these devices, the diagnosis will be easier. We commend the University of Nairobi, the Heart Centre and Novartis for this initiative to help Kenyans under the Universal Health Coverage, UHC. Deputy Governor of Nyeri, Dr. Caroline Karugu spoke on behalf of Council of Governors.
Speaking during the launch of Butterfly Echo for Life, a cardiac diagnosis device, at the University of Nairobi Chandaria Center, Racey Muchilwa, from Novartis observed that the three years partnership has enabled a total of 115 doctors to be trained in cardiac diagnosis. “Currently, over 70 doctors have been sponsored with the primary goal of reaching the rural areas. Echo cardiograms are costly and with the advancement of technology, we have been able to produce handheld echo cardiograms and today 30 of them will be donated to the counties. The 30 devices will be able to serve 36,000 patients per year and hence there is no need travelling over 300 kilometers to access healthcare,” she said.
The handheld heart diagnosis devices will go along way in easing the financial burden for patients, since the cost of diagnosis will drop from the current 8,000 shillings to 1,000 shillings. “There is no better time to collaborate. Cardiovascular diseases are number one killer and those with heart conditions have a high risk of dying from COVID19”, she said.
University of Nairobi Vice Chancellor, Prof. Stephen Kiama observed that the triple helix collaboration between the Novartis and the Heart Centre and the University of Nairobi will go a long way in confronting the problems facing Kenyans, more so healthcare issues. He praised the various efforts by the University of Nairobi, especially the College of Health Sciences in combating COVID19. “COVID19 has taught us that we cannot rely on the global value chain and hence we must rely on our own solutions. He took the opportunity to thank Novartis for their support in doctors training,” he said.
The training of cardiologists is spearheaded by Prof. Frederick Bukachi, well known cardiologist from the Heart Centre.