‘OAU Open Heart Surgeries will Reduce Medial Tourism’

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Yinka Kolawole writes that the recent six open heart surgeries performed on six children by the Obafemi Awolowo Teaching Hospitals, Ile Ife, will drastically reduce medical tourism

Photo Caption: Team of doctors involved in the open heart surgeries in OAU …recently

A few weeks ago, Obafemi Awolowo University Teaching Hospital, Ile Ife, Osun State, made a breakthrough as it performed six successful open heart surgeries for children within the ages of one to three years.

While addressing the Management and the Consultants Surgeon who performed the operation, the Chief Medical Director of the Hospital, a consultant Radiologist, Professor Victor Adetiloye said the success was recorded due to understanding between the hospital and the Cardiac Eye Foundation International headed by Professor Maqsood Elahi, who is a pediatric Cardiac Surgeon.

Adetiloye also noted that the Congenital Heart Disease problem is currently rampant in the country because heart disease problems are discovered every day on younger ones.

He commended the medical team and the management of the hospital because of the huge financial involvement in the treatment of the problem.

The Medical Director stressed that surgeries entails critical observation and careful selection of personnel for the operation.

He stressed that by July this year, another four open heart surgeries will be performed by the hospital with the same team of surgeons.

Adetiloye made it clear that the hospital has mapped out
strategies for another batch of 20 patients while calling on good spirited Nigerians to come to the aids of people with heart problem, saying federal or state governments cannot do it alone, as the cost is high.

He also urge Federal Government to henceforth discourage all medical tourism in the country saying if wealthy Nigerians can assist people with this problem, hospitals in the country can solve all the prevailing problems.

Adetiloye also noted that in the last one year the country has lost over 250 billion naira to medical tourism while calling on the federal government to urgently seek solution to this medical tourism to save the country’s resources.

He commended Ooni of Ife, Oba Adeyeye Ogunwusi, for donating to the hospital for taking care of the less privileged in the society.

In his remarks the Head of Cardiac Eye Foundation International, Professor Maqsood Elahi, who is a pediatric Cardiac Surgeon, called on individual to assist children with Congenital Heart Disease because of the huge amount it involves.

He also commended Ooni of Ife and the entire team in the process that brought victory to the hospital. Elahi noted that the Ooni of Ife made several donations to the successful operation of those children before the operation could be performed.
He called on well-meaning Nigerians to always come to the aid of people like this so that the future of the nation could be realised.

Also in his reaction one of the surgeons who performed the operation, Dr. Uvie Onakpoya contended that the operations were successful due to contribution of the management and the Ooni of Ife and urged other Nigerians to assist in this regard.

He however commended the management of the hospital as well as the Chief Medical Director, for their full support during the preparation of the operation.

However some of the parents that spoke with THISDAY commended the hospital management for the job well done and called on the federal government to always encourage hospitals.
They also called on philanthropists to come to the aid of the less privileged parents in the country as to be able to combat some social problems.

The parents expressed joy that their sons and daughters succeeded in the operation and urged the hospital to continue in that regard as to discourage medical tourism in the country.