Emmanuel Ugwu in Umuahia
The management of Federal Medical Centre (FMC) Umuahia has intensified efforts to start kidney transplantation procedure at the tertiary health institution, which when realised would position it as the pioneer of such medical procedure in South-east and South-south zones of Nigeria.
Medical director of FMC Umuahia, Dr. Chuku Abali, made this known at the weekend while briefing newsmen on the activities of the health institution in the last 12 months, saying that a lot of progress has been made in every area of medical services.
Kidney transplantation, which is one of the major health issues that Nigerians travel abroad to seek remedies is currently available at Aminu Kano University Teaching Hospital and St. Nicholas Hospital Lagos.
But Abali said that it would make a lot of difference in terms of cost and convenience for patients from the South-east and South-south zones to be able to access this life saving medical services without having to travel very far.
“FMC Umuahia aims to become the first health institution to start kidney transplantation in South-east and South-south,” he said with an air of self confidence.
To achieve this medical feat, he said that FMC Umuahia was already collaborating with the University of Toledo Ohio in the United States which ranks among the best in the world in the area of kidney transplantation.
Abali said that some professionals from FMC Umuahia have been sent to Ohio to observe live procedures of kidney transplantation before commencing their training, adding that the memorandum of understanding (MoU) signed with Toledo University covers not only kidney transplantation but other areas of medical care.
On cardiovascular medicine he said that the health institution has achieved a lot and has indeed progressed beyond phase one, two which involve non-invasive treatment of heart diseases, adding that the next stage of performing open heart surgeries would require heart lung machine.
“We are already doing major heart surgeries but not open heart surgery and pulmonary bypass. We can’t go into the third phase (open heart surgery) without acquiring the machine,” he said, adding that management had appealed to donor agencies to assist in procuring the hear lung machine.
The MD also said that FMC Umuahia has made a lot of progress in the area of in vitro fertilisation (IVF) practice which makes it possible for childless couple to have children of their own.
According to him, the IVF unit “is now fully functional” and runs two cycles of nine months with some of the patients already pregnant hence “we’re looking forward to taking the first delivery” of IVF babies.
Abali said that FMC Umuahia experienced a huge influx of patients following the excellent medical services being offered at the health institution where team work, professionalism, patient care and conducive work environment are emphasised.
He disclosed that a total of 120,000 patients visited FMC Umuahia last year noting that the influx was from Imo and other neighbouring states.
The MD stated that the influx of patients into FMC Umuahia has resulted to more demands on consumables, personnel and funding hence the management has approached the Head of Service of the federation for permission to recruit 250 nurses and seven consultants within the first quarter of 2017.