The National Hospital, Abuja said on Saturday it has successfully carried out open heart surgeries on 12 children with heart diseases of varying complexities.
Dr. Jafaru Momoh, the Chief Medical Director of the hospital, who disclosed this at a news conference in Abuja, said six of the surgeries were conducted last Monday.
Momoh said the hospital was able to carry out the surgeries through the collaboration of the Hospital for Humanity, a US-based NGO, under a seven-year collaborative contract agreement.
According to him, the latest six surgeries bring the total number of heart surgeries conducted by the hospital to 12.
He said: “Earlier this year in August, we had the 1st set of open heart surgeries and this collaboration was to be a continuous one.
“This is to ensure that our core function of providing expert medical care is met and also to limit medical tourism.”
The chief medical director further said the collaboration would further enhance technology and skills transfer to local team of experts, thereby enabling sustainability of the programme in future.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that open heart surgery is a method of correcting the hole in the heart of people, among other medical complications.
Momoh called on Nigerians to avail themselves of the available specialised facilities and services in the hospital to better their health.
He described the hospital as the vanguard of medical provision in the country.
Momoh said such services include orthopaedics, that is, joint replacement surgeries, cancer treatment, spinal surgery and invitro fertilisation programme.
In his remarks, Segun Ajayi, Chief Executive Officer of HfH, assured Nigerians of the commitment of the hospital at ensuring that no child died of heart diseases.
According to Ajayi, HfH entered into partnership with Nigeria to ensure that no child dies any further due to heart surgery problem.
He said: “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.”
Dikko Balarabe, a parent of one of the patients, commended the hospital for successfully operating his son that had heart problem.
Balarabe said: “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.”
Dr. Iretiola Babaniyi, a Chief Consultant Paediatrician/Paediatric Cardiologist, described open heart surgery as a corrective surgery in the event of hole in the heart among others considered to be abnormal.
Babaniyi said: “”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 close the holes.”