History as six patients successfully undergo open-heart surgery in Abuja

by The Guardian

HISTORY was made at the National Hospital, Abuja when open-heart surgical operation was successfully carried out on six patients this week in collaboration with a non-governmental organization (NGO), Hospitals for Humanity.

Speaking at a press briefing on the success of the open-heart surgery in Abuja, yesterday, Chief Medical Director (CMD), Dr. Jafaru Momoh said the idea to recommence open heart surgery programme arose out of the necessity to assist many Nigerians who cannot afford to travel abroad for medical treatment.

And in Ilorin, Kwara State capital yesterday, 15-year-old Aishat Jubril and Kamalat Balogun, seven, were discharged from the Very Important Personality (VIP) ward of University of Ilorin Teaching Hospital (UITH), after spending two weeks recuperating following the Open Heart Surgeries carried out on them.

The corrective operations, the first of its kind in the UITH were performed two weeks ago by doctors at the Cardio-Thoracic Unit of the hospital in collaboration with a medical team from Apollos Paediatric Hospital, India.

According to Momoh, “It is in this regard that the National Hospital has also recently recommenced other highly specialized services in many subspecialty such as orthopaedic surgery (knee and hip replacements), radiotherapy and nuclear medicine (cancer treatment), comprehensive medical check-up services and have ensured the sustenance of our in-vitro-fertilisation programme, which is the longest running programme in a government institution.”

Momoh added that the organisation was led by the CEO of Hospitals for Humanity Dr. Segun Ajayi and a team of experts in cardio-thoracic based in the United States in carrying out the open heart surgery successfully, adding that the cost of being operated upon has been subsidized to suit the yearning of Nigerians who do not have the money of travelling abroad.

Team leader of the National Hospital, Dr. Iretiola Babaniyi said the open- heart surgery was first performed in the hospital in 2006, when the National Hospital collaborated with Eagle Foundation under the leadership of Dr. Jonathan Iwilo where he came with his team from the United States, where they operated on six patients (two adults and four children), stressing that the programme was stopped abruptly not until when the new CMD came on board and reintroduce the programme.

Babaniyi said: “In the last few days we have successfully operated five patients while the sixth patient is in the theatre being operated upon, some of the five successful patients being operated are in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) and one has been sent back to the step-down ward after he/she as been discharged from the ICU.”

Chief Executive Officer, Hospitals for Humanity, Dr. Segun Ajayi said the reason he brought his team is to help Nigerians, especially the children, who are dying from congenital abnormalities, stressing that for the ones that can go abroad for the treatment the cost is extremely high and that is what brought the initiative of bringing his team down to Nigeria to collaborate with the National Hospital.

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