AT least 170 children aged between one and 12 years are benefiting from a free tonsillectomy surgical camp being conducted at Sally Mugabe Central Hospital in Harare.
Tonsillectomy is a procedure to remove the tonsils, usually performed when tonsillitis occurs frequently, doesn’t respond to other treatments or causes serious complications.
The surgical camp aims to clear the backlog of patients with air obstructions that had accumulated owing to Covid-19.
The surgeries began on Monday and are set to end on October 18, with a target of operating 30 children per day.
The camp is jointly supported by the Government of Zimbabwe, government of Japan and the World Health Organisation.
There are 10 surgeons and 40 anaesthetists participating in the operations.
“If left untreated, some children may have difficulties in breathing, which might lead to them having difficulties in feeding, leading to malnutrition,” Ear Nose and Throat (ENt) specialist, Dr Ruvimbo Nzvenge.
“Some also have problems with growth because their heart will be using more effort to pump blood, hence they may end up with heart problems.
“A word of advice to parents is that snoring is not a common thing, so if your child is snoring take those to the nearest health care facility to be assessed. If your child has a recurrent sore throat, also take them for assessment.”
Dr Nzvenge said they had a backlog of more than 200 cases, and they might actually need another camp or to increase their capacity to operate on the children.