Visiting Indian Cardiologist, Dr Shahid Merchant, says 80 per cent of the cardiac problems from Malawi that are referred abroad can be sorted out right here in the country as they are just basic.
The cardiologist says with proper and timely diagnosis and treatment, most cases can be treated locally.
“The country needs a vibrant diagnostic centre where primary screening for varied cardiac defects can be conducted with subsequent proper treatment being offered.
“There is also need to consolidate the capacity of the system as there are prevalent gaps in the primary and secondary level of treatment,” said Dr Merchant in an interview.
During his brief stay in the country, Merchant has conducted a two-day cardiac camp at Polycare Clinic around Crossroads Hotel in Lilongwe under the facilitation of the High Commission of India,
He said Malawian doctors have good knowledge but there is need to have them exposed to international doctors for exposure to make good use of the expertise they have.
Dr Merchant, therefore, has urged the local doctors to make full use of the partnerships the government has in place with other countries and other bodies of goodwill.
According to the cardiologist, among the common heart problems affecting many people in Malawi are high blood pressure, heart failure, low heart pumping, congenial heart disease and diabetes.
Suresh Kumar Menon, Indian High Commissioner to Malawi, says the invitation of doctors from different areas of medical expertise and specialization is meant to cater for the needs of local Malawians who cannot afford to travel outside the country for treatment.
“We interact with many Malawians at different levels and we know that a majority cannot manage to fly outside the country to seek help when they fall ill. We intend to lessen the burden that this group is facing,” said the High Commissioner.