Royal Philips and the governments of Ethiopia and the Netherlands have signed a seven-year agreement to build Ethiopia’s first specialised cardiac care centre to address the critical shortage of cardiology services in Ethiopia.

Under the terms of the agreement, valued at approximately Euro 40 million, Philips will be responsible for the full turnkey design, construction, equipping and commissioning of the hospital location, as well as staff education and equipment maintenance for five years after completion.

The Ethiopian population of over 100 million citizens currently has no access to a continually functioning cardiac centre, a bleak reality for a country with one of the highest prevalence of rheumatic heart disease, which is largely preventable and often caused by non-treated throat infections. In Ethiopia, it is the leading cause of acquired heart disease among children and young adults. At Tikur Anbessa Specialised Hospital (TASH) in Addis Ababa there is a waiting list of over 8,000 patients for cardiac care that currently cannot be addressed.

The new specialist cardiac care centre, which will be developed within the compound of TASH, will comprise a seven-story building covering 7,200 square meters with three operating rooms, two cath labs, 94 beds, and full diagnostic and examination suites.

Scheduled for completion in mid-2020, it is estimated that the new centre will have the physical capacity to perform 500 surgeries, 1,600 cath lab diagnoses and 500 cath lab interventions once operational.

“This is a unique project for Philips globally as we are creating an entire turnkey hospital solution,” said CEO of Philips Africa, Jasper Westerink.

“Drawing on more than 125 years’ of Philips’ experience on the African continent, paired with our expertise in holistic healthcare planning and hospital design, we are pleased to support the Government of Ethiopia as a strategic partner in developing and implementing an integrated approach to cardiovascular care that will enable improved treatment and outcomes for patients and clinicians,” continued Westerink.

The agreement not only covers construction of the new cardiac care centre, but also renovation of an existing section of the TASH hospital. Renovation of an existing floor in the hospital will begin by June, 2018, and is expected to be completed before the end of the year. It will include installation of a dedicated cardiology operating theatre, a new Philips bi-plane interventional catheterisation lab, and a cardiology ICU. This will increase capacity and enable surgical interventions to be performed before the new cardiac care centre is ready.

“We want to transform cardiology care in Ethiopia, and in Philips we have a strong partner that understands our requirements and is able to provide a comprehensive hospital solution for state-of-the-art diagnosis and treatment of cardiac diseases, including capability building and skills transfer,” said Minister of Health of the Ethiopia, Ato Amir Aman.

“Through this strategic collaboration, TASH will have access to Philips’ health technologies and services, as well as clinical education, IT integration and data analytics, allowing us to fully redesign our care processes for cardiology interventions,” continued Minister Aman.

With the aim to improve access to quality healthcare in Africa the Netherlands government is contributing to this project with funding via the Netherlands Enterprise Agency RVO.

A specialist cardiology training programme with the University of Cape Town (UCT) has been integrated into the project. The programme will impart specialist skills to the staff at the TASH hospital and garner local experience for the Ethiopian surgical team.

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