Breaking Grounds UNTH to perform 100 open heart surgeries

The surgeries are set to happen before the end of the year, hospital administration announced.

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At least 100 patients suffering from different heart diseases are set to undergo open heart surgeries at the University of Nigeria Teaching Hospital (UNTH), Enugu.

The surgeries are set to happen before the end of the year, hospital administration announced.

Dr. Christopher Amah, the hospital's chief medical director, made the disclosure while briefing newsmen at the hospital recently saying at least 15 cases would be handled before the end of this month. 

Amah, while conducting newsmen round the wards, said the current round of open heart surgeries going on were the 8th session since the programme was revived in 2013.

He further reaffirmed the hospital's preparedness to handle the cases effectively.

Said Amah,

"Our hospital is a designated national centre of excellence in cardiothoracic surgery and a flagship programme for that designation is the open heart surgery. We have been doing this since 1974, when the first one was done here and continued in doing quite a lot of them until about 2003 when we had a serious hitch."

He explained that the program was halted due to the fact that the hospital relocated from the old site to the permanent site in ItukuOzara where there was no purpose built facility for that programme.

Amah said the hospital has been partnering oversea organisations such as Royal Victoria Hospital, Belfast, UK, whose Chief Surgeon is a Nigerian, Dr Onyekwere Nzewi and another group, Voom Foundation based in the United States.

With the help of the overseas partners who operate on charity, a lot of equipment, medical consumables and skills were brought in, making it possible for the hospital to carry out the open heart surgery at a subsidised rate of N1miilion to N1.5 million for adults and N750, 000 to N1 million for children as against N2.5 million to N3 million.

Amah further said that for the nation to tackle heart disease burden effectively, Nigeria  would need to carry out 10,000 open heart surgeries yearly.

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