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110-year-old woman undergoes successful dynamic hip screw operation

By Abigirl Tembo, Health Editor

A 110-year-old granny is recuperating at home after undergoing a successful dynamic hip screw operation at Harare’s Parirenyatwa Group of Hospital.

Even without her reading spectacles on and at the age of 110, Gogo Milca Kahovera, an avid Church of Central Africa Presbyterian member, can still read her Bible as she continues to give praise to the Lord after undergoing a successful dynamic hip screw operation at Parirenyatwa Group of Hospitals two weeks ago.

Gogo is now recuperating at home.

“I was born in 1912 in Chizhanje. I was blessed with 8 children, but am now left with 2 surviving and a lot of grandchildren.The problem with my leg started when as I intended to get out of the house. I was in pain and I cried a lot because. I was taken to the hospital and had this operation done. Now I am recovering and I can’t wait to walk again,” she explains.

Dr Nyamutora who was leading the team of specialists who conducted the operation acknowledged that it was a complicated operation considering the patient’s age.

“The operation performed on gogo is called a dynamic hip screw which is an operation which is done for patients who would have fractured their thigh bone at the neck of the femur. What we do is we take the patient to theatre of course after preparing the patient adequately then we use a mobile x ray machine to actually visualise where the fracture is and the type of operation that we are dealing with.

“We make some incisions, then using quite complicated equipment we insert some metal implants to hold the fracture together.  Of note Gogo’s case was particularly difficult because of her age, you know after a hundred years the system will start to slow down so it really needed a very big team to be able to carry that surgery. The team in involving the anaesthetists, the surgeons as well as the nursing staff and we thank all these personnel who made this surgery which was very difficult a success,” explains Dr Nyamutora.

Senior Consultant and anaesthesiologist, Dr Tendai Mbengeranwa reckons Zimbabwe has a lot of qualified medical personnel capable of conducting complicated surgeries.

“No two days in anesthetics are the same, no two patients are the same, so you have trust your training, you bring your knowledge your skills and your experience to come up with a plan, it is all about the team and the heroes in this whole story are the team, the fantastic nurses we have here in the high dependency unit at  Parirenyatwa .

“Ninety plus percent of operations can be done locally. I will hasten to say that a lot of doctors have sub specialty training from abroad. Speaking for myself, I trained in the United kingdom so we are bringing those skills here, we are very capable of performing these surgeries here in Zimbabwe,” he says.

Dr Nyamutora concurs with the notion that Zimbabwe’s health practitioners are capable of conducting complicated surgeries, “The perception is that these operations are still being done in India and South Africa but the skills are here and we are actually doing it here at Parirenyatwa. We can do total hip replacements, we can do those dynamic hip screws, we can even do knee replacements so the personnel skill and the will is there and the operations are being done here locally at Parirenyatwa and other hospitals.”

Gogo Milca says is eternally grateful to the medical staff at Parirenyatwa Group of Hospitals.

“I want to thank them for the job they did on me, they know their job and I am really grateful otherwise without them I would be dead by now.”

Local hospitals which include Parirenyatwa, Sally Mugabe, Chitungwiza, Gweru, Mpilo and United Bulawayo Hospitals have for some time now been conducting orthopaedic surgeries ranging from total hip replacements to dynamic hip screws and knee replacements, among others.

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