The Chief Medical Director, University of Ilorin Teaching Hospital, Ilorin, Kwara State, Professor Abdulwaheed Olatinwo, at the weekend declared that, the hospital would soon become a one stop of heart facility in Africa in order to cater for patients with heart related diseases in the country.
This, he said would stop people with heart related diseases from traveling outside the country for medical attention.
Already, Olatinwo said that, an ultra modern Cardiac Catherization Laboratory (Cat Lab) worth several millions of naira would be constructed at the hospital so as to assist the hospital to achieve the goal.
Olatinwo, disclosed this in Ilorin while briefing newsmen at the end of the open heart surgery performed on three Nigerian children at the hospital.
The CMD said with the feat recorded in the open heart surgery, the hospital has laid the foundation of the Cardiac Catheterization Laboratory (Cat Lab) which is expected to be completed and equipped in six months.
According to him, “Cat Lab was essential for a full fledged Cardiac surgery centre.
He said, “the vision of the hospital was to be the best Heart Centre in Africa before 2018, hence the resolve of the management to send three of the doctors on training in India”.
Olatinwo said that, “Catheterization involves the use of machines and other imaging procedures to diagnose and treat congenial heart conditions. “With Cat Lab, you can treat heart problems if the defect is not that much, patients with abnormal heart activities can also be treated in the Cat Lab”.
According to the CMD, “what the hospital has been doing for the past five years and would continue to do would revert to medical tourism for the hospital”.
He said that the hospital can now boast of qualified personnel and equipment that can give Nigerians, irrespective of status the best care in heart facility. “As part of our vision, we want to make the hospital a one stop heart facility which we believe with this in place anybody with heart problem in Nigeria, Africa and West Africa can come for treatment,” Olatinwo said.
It could be recalled that the open heart surgery on the three children were carried out by a team of surgeons with Dr. Philip Adeoye leading UITH, while Prof .Neville Solomon of Apollo Hospital, led his team from India.
The children with holes in their hearts were aged between four and six years were said to be in stable conditions and may be discharged soon.
He said the cost of the surgery ranged between N700, 000 to N1. 8million, adding that the patients cannot afford the fees, the hospital subsidised it as they only pay less than 20 per cent of the fee.
Olatinwo said the hospital collaborated with the Apollo Hospital in India to carry out open heart surgery with the first one performed on two young girls in July 2015. The CMD said the medical Director of Apollo Hospital, Prof Solomon was a renown cardiac surgeon who performs over 3, 000 heart surgeries free around the world in a year.