As Nigeria continues to count its gains in the health sector, the National Hospital, Abuja, said it has successfully carried out open heart surgery on 12 children with heart diseases of various complexities.
Its Chief Medical Director, Dr Jafaru Momoh, at a news conference held in Abuja, said six surgeries were conducted last Monday, bringing the number to 12 surgeries performed by the hospital.
According to Momoh, the successful surgeries were carried out in collaboration with a US-based Non-Governmental Organisation, Hospital for Humanity, HfH, under a seven-year collaborative contract agreement.
‘’This is to ensure that we meet our core function of providing expert medical care and also limit medical tourism, adding that the first set of open heart surgeries was carried out in August this year under the collaborative agreement.’’
The CMD, who described the hospital as the vanguard of medical provision in the country, called on Nigerians to access the available specialised facilities and services to better their health, stressing that the collaborative agreement would enhance technology and skills transfer to local team of experts, thereby enabling sustainability of the programme in future.
Momoh said the hospital offers other services like orthopaedics, that is joint replacement surgeries, cancer treatment, spinal surgery and invitro fertilisation programme.
Chief Executive Officer, HfH, Segun Ajayi, assured Nigerians of the commitment of the hospital to ensure that no child dies of heart diseases.
Ajayi said HfH entered into partnership with Nigeria to ensure that no child dies of heart diseases.
“No child who needs open heart surgery will be left behind, we are committed to ensuring that every child that comes to our programme is given the best of care and we are committed to the Nigerian child,’’ he said.
A parent of one of the patients, Mr Dikko Balarabe, commended the hospital for successfully operating on his son that had heart problem. ‘’Since my son was discharged from the Intensive Care Unit, there has not been any problem.
“I call on parents whose children have any form of heart problem to avail themselves of this opportunity, thereby saving them from untimely death,’’ Balarabe said.
Chief Consultant Paediatrician/Paediatric Cardiologist, Dr Iretiola Babaniyi, said open heart surgery is carried out when there is a hole in the heart.
“Open heart surgery means when you open the heart, you envelop the chest and fix what is needed to be fixed, there are times you when close the holes.’’