Uganda has acquired its fourth catheterization laboratory, a modern machine that is fully equipped with imaging equipment to detect and manage various heart conditions.
The machine better known as Cath lab is an addition to the three more machines at Nakasero hospital and Kisubi.
Dr. John Omagino, the Executive Director of the Uganda Heart Institute, said the acquired machine will improve the management of heart-related conditions, which will reduce the number of people traveling abroad for specialized treatment.
“In a Cath lab, one uses tubes and you can enter through a vein in the groin under the direct vision of special x-rays and special dyes, so they place a dye and it can help you visualize the entire heart interior and how it’s functioning,” Dr. Omagino said.
Dr. Omagino added that the machine helps study the functionality of the heart to know if it can withstand treatment.
“In the Cath lab, we can put in heart pacemakers; that is, when the heart’s functioning rate is not normal and the body has lost its capacity to control it, we can put in a pacemaker. It can be used for diagnosis, general study, intervention, and treatment,” Dr. Omagino said.
He added that the machine can be used to do intermediary treatment where the overall function of the heart can be taken by stimulating the various heart chambers which bridge people as they wait for the heart transplant.
Dr. Sedat Gunes, the medical director at Medipal International Hospital, Kampala, said this has been acquired at a time when cardiovascular diseases are rampant not only in Uganda but also in Africa because of genetic structure, diabetes, and hypertension.
He says the machine can help health workers check the neck arteries that go to the kidney side and other parts of the body, and it is a machine that will serve Ugandans very well.
Uganda Heart Institute acquired its first Cath lab in 2012, followed by Nakasero Hospital, Kisubi Hospital, and now Medipal International Hospital.