The Chief Medical Director of the Lagos University Teaching Hospital (LUTH) Idi-Araba, Prof. Chris Bode, has revealed that the hospital was targeting 100 open heart surgeries within the next one year.
He stated this while announcing that the hospital’s Cardiac Project has so far performed seven heart surgeries on six children and an adult within three days, adding that the successful surgeries has brought national pride to the country’s health sector, hence the need to build on the feat by targeting 100 more open heart surgeries within the next one year.
“Aside from national pride, it also makes economic sense, by giving care to Nigerians in our country and also by Nigerians. This feat has opened another opportunity to curb medical tourism in the country because it has shown that open heart surgeries are possible in the country.
“This is why we have decided to institutionalise cardiac surgeries and make it a routine in LUTH, so that in no distant time it will no longer be news as it will be done daily here,” he added.
He explained that open heart surgery was a sensitive medical procedure which requires precision with no room for errors. “That is why we are also celebrating the team involved. From the cardiologists, nurses, to the engineers and other members of the team, we pray God to reward them.”
The CMD also commended the NHIS that supported the project by sponsoring one of the patients that was successfully operated upon.
The Head of Pediatric Cardiology Unit, Prof. Christy Okoromah, said that heart problems were caused by various factors such as genetic, environmental and maternal diseases, adding that congenital defects such as holes in the heart, abnormal connections and a sundry of other birth defects could kill the victim if left uncorrected. “Adults may also suffer surgically correctable heart conditions such as damage to valves and a host of other conditions,” she said.
She said that the project would enable the medical team in the country to build capacities in their various fields by engaging in such projects regularly. “If our entire patients continue to go abroad for surgery, then we will begin to lose our skills. We hope that Nigerians in both private and public sectors can join hands with LUTH to support patients to have these surgeries down here,” she said.