The surgery which lasted for four hours was carried out on a 19-year-old secondary school leaver to correct a leaking heart valve in his heart.
According to Professor Temitope Alonge, the Chief Medical Director of the UCH, the exercise was aimed at alleviating the hardship being experienced by Nigerians with heart-related challenges. He also said that as the first teaching hospital in Nigeria, the UCH is supposed to take the lead in critical areas of medicine. Hence, creating an enabling environment for complex surgeries (like open heart surgery) to carried out in the hospital.
“We are the pioneer teaching hospital in Nigeria, and we should be taking the lead. We are going to do this and we intend to make it a continuous exercise. In fact, within the next six months, we intend carrying out not less than 30 heart-related surgeries and at affordable cost to Nigerians” he said.
Alonge, also lamented the exorbitant amount of money Nigerians pay to undergo such procedures outside the country, pointing out that the cheapest rate outside Nigeria was about N2.5 million excluding airfare and hotel bills.
Carrying out such surgeries in here in Nigeria will make it cheaper. The first surgery is heavily subsidized as a way of encouraging Nigerians to have confidence in our healthcare system.”
The Team Leader of the doctors from the USA, Dr. Kamar Adeleke said that the patient would be back to his normal activities in less than two months. “He does not have anything to fear about life expectancy. He will soon resume his normal activities, and do all the things he was used to before he took ill,” Dr. Adeleke said.
Dr. Adeleke promised his continued support to providing access to adequate healthcare as obtained in other developed countries.