“We will support our doctors. We congratulate them for a job well done, it was not a cheap operation,” said Ms Katana, who presided over the farewell ceremony at the ICU.

Dr Khandwalla said the heart clinic opens Mondays and patients will be screened and booked for the open-heart surgery.

“We are going to select the cases, screen and gather them to know whether they are suitable for surgery. Yesterday (Monday) the screening took place at Dr Sore’s clinic, patients should see him on Mondays,” he added.

A team of 12 heart specialists, led by Dr Sore Aseyo of Coast General Hospital and Dr James Munene of Kenyatta National Hospital, operated on the three on Tuesday and Wednesday last week.

Dr Aseyo, the lead cardiothoracic surgeon at the hospital, said the three were in good condition.

“I will review them again on Monday. The next project will be in four to six weeks’ time, we hope to do open heart surgery at that interval. Next time, we will do between five and 10 surgeries,” he said.

Dr Aseyo said the most common heart disease in the coast region is rheumatic heart disease.

“Countrywide, rheumatic heart disease, congenital heart disease and coronary heart disease are very common,” he said.