Infant undergoes heart surgery in Germany

Malita Jozini, a 17-month-old infant who was suffering from congenital heart defect, has undergone a successful heart surgery at the University Hospital of Saalrand Hamburg in Germany.

The operation was facilitated by Malawian Lennia Kachilele and Jacob van Wijk, a medical doctor from The Netherlands, who is based at St Gabriel’s Hospital in Namitete in Lilongwe where Malita was first diagnosed with the defect.

Kachilele (L) poses with Malita’s parents and their twin daughters. Malita has been carried by her mother

In an interview at Kamuzu International Airport soon after Malita and her mother returned home, Kachilele said she had come across the father of the child on the streets of Lilongwe trying to raise money for a visa to go to India for the operation.

She said: “The doctor who diagnosed Malita found donors in Germany to sponsor her. The German Donation Organisations paid for the surgery. I assisted the family as a mediator and to have all the documentation done.”

Kachilele said expenses towards the successful surgery, including air tickets, cost 28 000 euro (about K23 million).

In an interview, Van Wijk expressed gratitude to German doctor Bernard Zerfass who hosted Malita and her mother in Germany. The doctor hosted Malita and her mother at his house after the operation failed twice to enable the infant stabilise.

Malita’s mother said she broke into tears of happiness after the operation.

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