The National Hospital, Abuja, on Thursday said that it has recorded a success in carrying out open heart surgery on six patients within the week.
The Chief Medical Director (CMD) of the hospital, Dr Jafaru Momoh, disclosed this at a news conference in Abuja on Thursday.
According to Momoh, the hospital in collaboration with the Hospital for Humanity, a US based NGO, was able to achieve this feat, saying that the idea was aimed at assisting many Nigerians that are unable to travel abroad for medical treatment.
According to him, it is also geared toward achieving the hospital’s mandate of providing expert medical care to the nation’s citizens and to mitigate the burden of medical tourism.
The CMD also said that the gesture would assist Nigerians to reduce the financial burden of travelling abroad for heart surgery which he said could cost between N6 million and N8 million.
According to him, the cost has been subsidized to an affordable rate by the hospital.
On the present states of the patients, he noted that at the moment one is at the theatre, while the other five are at stable conditions.
“We have successfully carried out open heart surgery on six patients this week in collaboration with a non-governmental organisation, Hospital for Humanity.
“The idea is to recommence our open heart surgery programme which arose out of the necessity to assist many Nigerians who cannot afford to travel abroad for medical treatment.
“It was also to ensure we meet our core mandate of providing expert medical care to Nigerians thereby mitigating the burden of medical tourism on our economy.
“In this regard the hospital has recently recommenced other highly specialised services in many speciality such as orthopaedic surgery, radiotherapy and nuclear medicine,’’ Momoh said.
Dr Segun Ajayi, Chief Executive Officer of the NGO, said his partnership was informed by the number of children that die due to avoidable congenital abnormalities.
However, Ajayi decried the high cost of heart surgery abroad, saying: “A lot of Nigerians could not afford it hence the move.”
He called on parents whose children suffer heart problems to avail themselves of this opportunity to ensure perfect solution to their heart diseases.
“We want to perform 200 heart surgeries in the next one year, and we intend to partner with the hospital, Garki and Jos University Teaching (JUTH).
“The National Hospital, Abuja, has an Intensive Care Unit comparable to UK, and other parts of Europe which is commendable, open heart paediatric surgery can be done here in Nigeria by Nigerian doctors.
“It is a collaborative programme that we are extending to Nigerian children and we are putting up a call to all Nigerian children with congenital heart disease to please visit the hospital so that we can screen and get the surgery done,’’ he said. (NAN)