Health technology firm Philips, Ethiopia and the Netherlands have signed an agreement that will see the firm 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 new center will be developed within the  compound of the existing Tikur Anbessa Specialized Hospital  (TASH) in Addis Ababa, the capital city of Ethiopia.

The new specialist cardiac care center will comprise a  7-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 center 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 Jasper Westerink, CEO  of Philips Africa.

“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.”

The Ethiopian population of over 100 million citizens  currently has no access to a continually functioning cardiac  center, 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 Specialized Hospital in Addis Ababa there is a  waiting list of over 8,000 patients for cardiac care that  currently cannot be addressed.

The agreement not only covers construction of the new  cardiac care center, 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  catheterization lab, and a cardiology ICU. This will  increase capacity and enable surgical interventions to be  performed before the new cardiac care center 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 Ato  Amir Aman,  Minister of Health (MOH) of the Federal Democratic Republic  of Ethiopia.

“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.”