Yacht Club donates K52,400 to Open Heart

National, Normal

The National, Wednesday 15th Febuary 2012


THE Royal Papua Yacht Club in Port Moresby yesterday donated K52,400 to the annual Operation Open Heart programme due in August.

General manager Tim West thanked organiser Cathy Johnson, saying he believed the money would go a long way in saving the lives of those who would not normally receive such medical help.

"The yacht club is delighted to assist in any way and this contribution is a way forward for the club because we are keen to lead the way in pursuing such causes. We do not intend to rely on others to do the job of helping the community," he said.

He said the club had been an avid supporter of the programme for seven years, contributing close to K1 million.

Johnson said her committee intended to raise K500,000 or more for the programme, with fundraising drives already under way.

About 400 patients have already been identified and selected from provinces but the number will be later scaled down to 60 to undergo actual operations.

when the team of surgeons and medical professionals arrive here.

Academic and senior heart specialist Professor Nakapi Tefuarani said the programme could not cater for more than 60 patients.

More than two-thirds of children have benefited from the programme, which has seen 784 successful operations in the 18 years of the programme in Papua New Guinea.

He said the money would be used in getting logistics and new operating machines, including image intensifier, ventilators, heart monitors, artificial valves and operating instruments.

The operation will be in two parts: Open and closed heart operations.

The open heart operation requires stopping of the heart for a thorough operation on the organ while closed heart will do without stopping the heart.

Last year, the programme saw 53 successful operations, with 29 closed and 24 open cases.

Tefuarani said the programme would be used as a training ground for local doctors and nurses.

"Assisting in the theatre rooms is a best way of training for the local doctors as they will be working with international experts who have wide experiences in the field. This opportunity is a boost for the local medical fraternity," he said.

He said heart diseases were common in Papua New Guinea and could be prevented by simple hygiene practises of keeping clean, enough exercise and a healthy diet.