Heart surgery charity programme, 300 Nigerians benefit – UNTH

Surgery
The Voom Foundation alone has brought several support facilities that have reduced the cost of the surgery. PHOTO: AFP / Brendan Smialowski

It was a big relieve to all the beneficiaries of the heart surgery programmed organized by UNTH with the Voom Foundation which alone has brought several support facilities that have reduced the cost of the heart surgery in Nigeria.

The golden egg was laid sometimes in 2013 and now about 300 patients from the nooks and crannies of various parts of Nigeria have benefited from the heart surgery from University of Nigeria Teaching Hospital (UNTH) Ituku-Ozalla, in Enugu State.

Dr. Christopher Amah, the Chief Medical Director of UNTH disclosed that heart disease affects about 1.2 percent of every population and attributed its rise, especially in Africa to people’s lifestyle, poverty, ignorance and disease, stressing that had the hospital not provided the service, most people would not have known about its existence.

Dr. Christopher Amah, Chief Medical Director of UNTH, stated and reviewed this on Wednesday 3 May 2017 while addressing journalists on the 20th mission of the heart surgery programme.

Dr. Christopher Amah disclosed that 25 Nigerians including children have been successfully operated upon while it has trained several local experts who are now capable of handling the exercise with less supervision.

That it has also built modern equipped medical facilities for the hospital, adding that in March this year 2017, local experts led by Prof. Martin Aghaji performed open heart surgeries on three Nigerians at the hospital.

Chief Medical Director of UNTH further disclosed that the UNTH was now starting to reduce the number of volunteers from abroad on medical mission.

That the programme in conjunction with Open Heart Pobic International, a non-governmental organisation (NGO) based in Italy had executed and sealed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the UNTH to use its facilities for free open heart surgeries on children for the next five years.

It was also disclosed that the NGO’s officials have arrived Enugu State and are expected to kick-start with their mission on May 8 2017, that about 20 children with various cases of heart diseases would be attended to during the 14-day exercise.

Dr. Christopher Amah, Chief Medical Director of UNTH reiterates that “This is the only centre that has been consistent with this programme and since we resumed in 2013, we have not stopped. We can only thank the Voom Foundation, the Rotary Club International and others for their support.

“The Voom Foundation alone has brought several support facilities that have reduced the cost of the surgery. We now charge adults N1.5 million and children N1 million, which is nothing compared to what anybody with such can spend if taken overseas.”

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