The feat was carried out by surgeons at the UCH in conjunction with a team of surgeons from Tri-State Cardiovascular Delaware, USA. (The surgical team that performed the feat pictured above)
A statement by the institution’s Head of Information Unit, Mr. Toye Akinrinola, disclosed that the four-hour surgery was to correct a leaking heart valve in a 19-year-old secondary school leaver.
An elated Chief Medical Director of the UCH, Professor Temitope Alonge, noted that the UCH was moved to embark on the exercise as a way of alleviating the hardship being experienced by Nigerians with heart-related challenges.
“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.”
Alonge, who lamented that Nigerians pay exorbitantly to undergo such procedures outside the country, pointing out that the cheapest rate outside Nigeria was about N2.5 million.
“This is outside the airfare and hotel bills. It will run into millions. But with us here, it will be a lot cheaper and the access is there. The first surgery is heavily subsidised as a way of encouraging Nigerians to have confidence in our healthcare system.”
Alonge stated that the Federal Government had given the UCH a mandate to improve on the training of doctors as a way of enhancing more access to adequate healthcare in Nigeria.
Leader of the doctors from the USA, Dr. Kamar Adeleke noted 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.
Adeleke gave assurance of his continued support to providing access to adequate healthcare as obtained in other developed countries.
After more than a decade of of inactivity, open heart surgery resumed in the country at the University of Nigeria Teaching Hospital, UNTH, Enugu, at an average cost of N500, 000.