LUTH records feat in heart surgery

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By; Matthew Ukachunwa, Lagos.
As it recently accomplished a feat in performing seven successful open heart surgeries in three days through its LUTH Cardiac Project, Lagos University Teaching Hospital has vowed to reduce medical tourism by Nigerians.
LUTH also disclosed its plan to undertake 100 open heart surgeries within a year.
“Our whole aim is not to make money but to save Nigeria from rising number of capital flight from medical treatment abroad,” Professor Chris Bode, the Chief Medical Director (CMD) of LUTH said.
The hospital also wants to ensure that Nigerians receive quality treatment by Nigerian Medical Doctors in their own country.
According to Bode, the cost of local treatment is cheaper and more convenient.
“The money involved is highly subsidized,” he stressed, pointing out that “you might spend about 10,000 Dollars for this surgery plus other expenses abroad coupled with the shoddy treatment you may receive there.’
He said that the total amount of money spent to treat the seven patients in LUTH could not treat two patients sent abroad.  “So, if we do the maths,’ he argued, ‘home is still the best.
Bode solicited support for the project, urging individual Nigerians and corporate bodies to start foundation and support the project, so as to help LUTH build capacities, install equipment and have more lives.
The CMD was grateful to the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) for partnership, and for sponsoring one of the patients.
He also thanked General Electric (GE) for placing a generator in the hospital, free of charge, in support of the project.
As an addendum to Professor Bode’s exposition, Professor Jane Ajuluchukwu, a Consultant Cardiologist and Head of LUTH Cardiac Project, disclosed how the feast was achieved and the age of the patients.
Ajuluchukwu explained that the project is a collaboration at the international level.  “With the collaboration of our guest team, we did seven cases in three days and they are 100 per cent successful.  We have discharged four patients already.  It is due to high team spirit, Ajuluchukwu stated.
The patients, she disclosed, included a 39-year old mother of three children who expressed confidence in LUTH; a three-year old and a seven-year old.
The team of experts who made the feat possible comprised surgeons, paediatricians, physicians, nurses, intensivists, anaesthetists, laboratory scientists, technical support groups, among others.
The partner, Team Benedict, is named after the team leader, Dr. Raj Benedict, from India who assisted in the surgery.
As the management of LUTH related:  “They teach, they heal and spread the gospel of self-sufficiency in human capacity in open heart surgery.

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