Together with the Ethiopian Cardiologist Dr. Abraha Hailu Weldegerima Dr. Christian Leuner performed again a coronary angiography on an severely diseased patient with high grade left ventricular dysfunction and coronary heart disease. Dr. Christian Leuner was very happy, that a second coronary angiography was performed Dr. Abraha Hailu and the internist Dr. Samuel Berhane without his assistance at the cath table.
When the German cardiologist Dr. Gabriele Wehr from Stuttgart joined Dr. Leuner first time during his stay in Mekelle, she started immediately hands on training in the cath lab with Dr. Abraha.
The first step to introduce the paediatric cardiologists to the cath lab was done. Together with Dr. Christian Leuner the in India educated paediatric cardiologist Dr. Temesgen Tsega a first two years old severe sick child was treated with a puncture of the pericardium.
Now Dr. Christian Leuner is confident that his support for the installation and setup of the cath lab of Ayder Hospital and his teaching of the physicians and nurses since 2013 will is becoming successful, because in future interventional cardiology with increasing complexity can be performed continuously by the Ethiopian cardiologists in Ayder Hospital with and without foreign supporters.
Dr. Christian Leuner is still not content that because of the not yet installed adequate air conditioning of the cath lab unit only one procedure per day is possible. More adult and paediatric cardiologists will be sent via Ethiopia- to perform and teach in future more complex interventions to the local physicians, when the cath lab can be used on a full work day basis.
The Ayder cath lab is in 2016 the only modern and new place in an Ethiopian University Hospital. H.E. Mr. Abay Woldu, the President of Tigray (in the middle) is very interested in the modern technology place. The head of the cardiology department, the cardiologist Dr. Abraha Hailu demonstrates the possibilities of the system to the president during his visit in Ayder Hospital on July 7th 2016. With him Dr. Kindeya Gebrehiwot (left), Dr. Amanuel Haile (second from right), Dr. Loko Abraham (third from right).
The first heart cathetriziation in the new cath lab of Ayder hospital was a right heart catheterization with pulmonary angiography in a patient with pulmonary hypertension of unknown origin.
The aim was beside the medical aspects to test the function of the many technical systems that have to cooperate in such a high tech system like a cath lab.
It was done by the in 2015 in Italy trained head of the Ayder cath lab, the Ethiopian cardiologist Dr. Abaha Hailu Waldegrima, and the German interventional cardiologist Dr. Christian Leuner from Bielefeld with the female Ethiopian cath lab nurse Takle Haile Michael at the cath lab table
and the German cardiologist Dr. Norbert Scheffold from Memmingen with the Ethiopian cath lab nurse Selamawit Gebru in the control room.
The procedure could be smoothely and without any major technical problems done.
The first cardiac catheterization laboratory (cath lab) in Ayder Referral Hospital of the University of Mekelle has been procured by the Ethiopian Ministry of Education in July, 2013. The aim was beside the medical aspects to test the function of the many technical systems that have to cooperate in such a high tech system like a cath lab.
Because no physicians with training in performing cardiac catheters where available for Ayder Hospital and so far no modern digitized cardiac catheterization laboratories have been established in Ethiopia, it was necessary to involve experienced cardiologists from abroad.
Etiopia Witten made it together with the Senior Expert Service possible that since 2013 the cardiologist and former senior physician from the Teaching Hospital, Klinikum Bielefeld – Germany in multiple multi-week stays in Ayder Hospital gave volunteer advise and monitoring for the planning and the structural and technical arrangement of the new cardiac catheterization laboratory.
Due to administrative barriers, restricted knowledge of suppliers, technicians, and craftsmen as well as the very limited access to technical equipment in the country many problems in Germany easy to be solved, were only lengthy or incomplete to master.
Even now the cath lab cannot be used to full because no functioning ventilation system could be installed until not yet and some important components of the cardiac catheter system are incomplete. A major obstacle is not yet mastered, the challenge how to finance the high costs of cardiac catheter materials for regular operation. They will not be covered foreign aid agencies. There must be found a way to treat even financially weak patients in cath lab. Because only by this there will be the necessary number of diseased patients coming, that give the possibilities to train the local medical staff in interventional cardiology in this academic training institution.