By Martins Ifijeh
While Nigeriaâ€™s healthcare system is often described by many citizens as gloomy and discouraging, there seems to be a ray of hope as First Cardiology Consultant, a private clinic in Lagos successfully performed its first open heart surgery.
Speaking during an event to mark the success, a surgeon at the clinic, Dr. Kofo Ogunyankin said the clinic was now well equipped with medical facilities and experienced personnel to serve Nigerians better in terms of heart surgery and treatments, adding that this will curb medical tourism in the country.
He said Nigerians with heart-related issues should go to hospitals that have the capacity and competence to treat them.
â€œHeart failure means the heart has become very weak and could not carry out its functions properly. So avoiding smoking and excessive alcoholic intake will help the heart.
â€œThe major causes of heart blockage are high blood pressure, diabetes, smoking, too much cholesterol, eating unhealthy foods, as well as hereditary. Nigerians should be sensitive to these risk factors.â€
Ogunkakin said government can help in tackling the scourge by setting standard for hospitals who claim to provide certain levels of service that are not measuring well.
On his part, a Consultant Cardiothoracic Surgeon, Dr. Onyekwelu Nzewi called on Nigerians above 45 years to regularly go for health check as prevention is better than cure.
â€œWe often encourage people to do investigations to know if their heart is going through struggles. Heart attack and cardiac arrest are becoming epidemic in Nigeria because of various unhealthy lifestyles,â€ he said.