First Coronary PCI with Stent implantation in Goverment Hospital Ayder - Mekelle - Ethiopia

Ayder Referral University Hospital in Mekelle has become the only Government Hospital in Ethiopia to perform the first PCI (Percutaneous coronary Intervention:

Placing metal stent in the artery of a heart attack patient) with the help of Dr.Henock G.Tsadik Zabher, Associate professor of Cardiology, Interventional cardiologist at Louisiana state University health sciences center, USA and Dr.Abraha hailu, cardiologist at Mekelle University Hospital.

A blocked artery in the heart due to fat deposition is the cause of heart attack. It is the leading cause of death in the western world but it is also catching up in the third world like Ethiopia due to socio-economic and life style changes.

Unfortunately countries like Ethiopia are not yet equipped to deal with this condition. A couple of private and non-profit hospitals in the capital are the only ones giving some cardiovascular services in the country and  Ayder Referral Hospital has become the only Government hospital in Ethiopia with fully equipped cardiac catheterization Laboratory that has started giving services to patients in the last several months.

Ayder Referral University Hospital in Mekelle has become the only Government Hospital in Ethiopia to perform the first PCI
Ayder Referral University Hospital Cardiac Catheterization Lab in Mekelle

The patient who underwent the heart procedure is a 42 years old man who suffered heart attack months earlier but continued to have chest pain and shortness of breath. On April 27, 2016, he underwent Heart catheterization and found to have a blocked artery that supplies the heart. A metal Drug eluting stent was placed and opened his blocked artery. He was discharged and walked out of the hospital the next morning and spent Easter holiday “Fasika” with his family.

Dr.Henock G.Tsadik Zabher, MD, MPH
Dr.Henock G.Tsadik Zabher, MD, MPH, FACC, FSCAI Associate professor of Cardiology Medical Director, Cardiac catheterization Lab LSUNSC-S

The Cardiology unit of Ayder Referral Hospital -Mekelle -college of health sciences, has been continuously working to introduce new diagnostic and therapeutic technologies in noninvasive and invasive cardiology practice and working to upgrade the capacity of its professionals and hence improve the services it delivers to the community at large. The unit gives services with noninvasive diagnostic tools, like Echocardiography, TEE, holters and stress tests and invasive services with modern Cardiac catheterization laboratory. The unit is also engaged in academics/ teaching of internal medicine residents and undergraduate medical students who would serve the community in the ever changing epidemiology of cardiovascular diseases.

 It is critical, at least regional referral hospitals and some of the big hospitals in the capital like Black lion need to invest to build this life saving services at their facilities. Finally, for diaspora Ethiopians who are over 40 years old and have the above mentioned risk factors with some symptoms like chest pain and shortness of breath; make sure that you get tested for Coronary artery disease.

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