First Stenting Procedure

Port Moresby General Hospital has become the first public hospital in the country to carry out invasive cardiac catheterization to diagnose and treat coronary heart diseases.

Chief Executive Officer of Port Moresby General Hospital Dr. Paki Molumi said at the landmark occasion that when the Cath Lab was opened only angiography procedures were performed by visiting Interventional Cardiologist. Now, following support from Kumul Petroleum Holdings Limited (KPHL), an Interventional Cardiologist has been recruited and with the assistance of the local team, performed the first stenting of a blocked coronary artery.

This is a life-saving procedure to prevent the patient from dying from what is commonly called the ‘heart attack’.  

“For the human heart to perform, a person’s blood vessels need to stay wide open for blood to travel to and from the heart. At times, cholesterol or fat can build up substance referred to as arterial plaque that causes blockage to the arteries supplying the heart muscles, the coronary artery. Stenting is a treatment where a small mesh tube is placed in the blood vessel to widen it, and allow for efficient blood flow,” Dr Molumi said.

“Today’s event is very significant in that that we will no longer be waiting for visits by volunteers to come and perform these procedures on scheduled times of the year, instead we will now have the capacity to perform the procedures all year round, when needed by our patients.”

The coronary artery angiography and stenting procedure is a culmination of the collaborative effort brought about by a tripartite MOA between the Ministry of Health and Port Moresby General Hospital Heart Centre, together with funding support from Kumul Petroleum Holdings Limited (KPHL) for K10 million kina over five (5) years, with an overall project value of K50 million.

KPHL Managing Director, Wapu Sonk said KPHL is proud to see that its commitment to support specialist healthcare, and in particular, that in less than a year after the signing of the Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) of the project, PMGH Cardiac Support Programme bears results with the first stenting procedure.

The stenting procedure was carried out by the hospital’s Interventional Cardiology unit and was witnessed by Prime Minister James Marape and Health Minister Jelta Wong.