By Kingsley Fomonyuy Njoka and Dufe Godwin
A team of surgeons from Milan, Italy recently performed the first-ever open heart surgery in the Shisong Cardiac Centre. That was on Wednesday, 16th March, 2005.
Laying of the Foundation Stone: Capuchin Friar Fr Angelo Pagano of Ethiopia is flanked by San Donato Polyclinic Chaplain Don Claudio Maggioni and the Vicar general of Kumbo Diocese Fr Peter Watson, as he lays the first stone at the Cardiac Centre
By afternoon the initial fears of the people had turned into joy as the sound of the tam-tam tore the quiet air of the Shisong hospital environment, announcing that the operation had gone on extremely successfully and the patient (4-yr-old Sasha) was doing quite well in the intensive care unit of the hospital.
More shouts of joy continued as the head surgeon, Dr. Alexandro Giambertti emerged from the theatre, and was carried on the shoulders of the jubilant crowd.
This was the first of the three operations that took place in Shisong for the first three days preceding the laying of the foundation stone of the Shisong Cardiac centre. The other two operations took place on Thursday 17 March, 2005.
The chief surgeon, Dr. Alexandro Giambertti said that minor operations will now be performed in Shisong quite frequently, but that major operations, such as the one he had just performed, will be done from time to time when his team can make it to Shisong. He was quite optimistic that as soon as the centre is completed, the equipment will be brought in from Italy for work to start effectively.