A team of Nigerian medical doctors has successfully conducted free open-heart surgeries in Sokoto.
Members of the team were drawn from Obafemi Awolowo University Teaching Hospital, Ile-Ife, Osun State and Lagos State University Teaching Hospital.
The surgeries were conducted at the Usmanu Danfodio University Teaching Hospital, (UDUTHS) Sokoto, in collaboration with the Cardiovascular Surgeons Association of Nigeria.
Addressing a news conference in Sokoto yesterday, the leader, Dr Uvie Inakpoya, said the team comprised cardio-thoracic surgeons, intensive care doctors, anaesthesiologists and specialised nurses.
Inakpoya, national president of the Association of Cardiovascular and Thoracic Surgeons of Nigeria commended UDUTHS for providing required equipment and supplies for the surgeries.
He also commended the hospital for supporting manpower development in the area.
He said that the surgeries proved that indigenous professionals were equal to the task.
He said it was 70 per cent cheaper to conduct the surgeries locally, using indigenous professionals when compared to what obtained abroad.
“The cost of surgery in Nigeria is what people pay to just travel to get the same surgery done abroad.
“We enjoin governments, donor agencies and other institutions to consider providing alternate funding such as health provision coverage and insurance for heart surgeries,’’ he said.
He added that about 200 heart surgeries were conducted globally annually representing a meagre seven per cent of persons suffering from heart problems.
Speaking earlier, the head of cardiothoracic surgery unit at UDUTHS, Dr Abubakar Umar, explained that two surgeries were conducted and the patients were responding to treatment.
Umar said the exercise was the third mission on heart surgeries conducted in the hospital and were all successful.
“We worked in harmony with the visiting doctors and enjoyed working with them.
“During the surgeries, we concentrated on adults, during which one of the most complicated heart surgeries was conducted on one patient who had his two valves replaced.
“UDUTHS is always ready to work with any organisation to improve health issues in Sokoto State and Nigeria in general,’’ Umar said. (NAN)