Written by Ijeoma UKAZU

LUTH CMD calls for collaboration, achieves first open heart surgery

The Chief Medical Director, CMD, of Lagos University Teaching Hospital, LUTH, Prof. Chris Bode, has called on all stakeholders in Nigeria to collaborate with the hospital as it carried out its first open heart surgery.
Briefing journalists in Lagos, the CMD said "this successful achievement means a lot to us especially in regards to health tourism in Nigeria. LUTH successfully carried out nine open heart surgery on children and an adult of 39 years of age. Some of these congenital defects, if not tackled on time could kill or cripple the patient.
"Open heart surgery requires a lot of manpower and we need to build capacity as well as seek for funding. We also need Nigerians to believe that this can be done successfully which will in turn help grow our economy.
"I feel sad when Nigerians go abroad for simple conditions like back pain or broken ankle. There are so many great things that can be done by our well trained medical doctors and surgeons. Let us celebrate our strength, highlight our weaknesses and find a way forward.
According to Prof. Bode, LUTH has resolved that next one year, open heart surgery will no longer be news, adding that in few months’ time, the hospital will have a stakeholders meeting of all hospitals that have carried out open heart surgery successfully in Nigeria.
Speaking also is the Head of Paediatrician Cardiology Unit of LUTH, Prof. Christy Okoromah, added that pregnant mothers should avoid taking drugs that will make their baby smaller, avoid alcohol, illicit drug and herbs.
Okoromah advised pregnant mothers to go for an ultra sound like the Fetal Echo Cardiography which can detect any congenital heart defect in the mother’s womb.
One of the happy mothers who spoke to journalists, Mrs Mayowa Oluwafemi, said "the heart defect decreased the weight of my six months old baby to 3.9kg but after the surgery, she gained massive weight. The government should help people with heart diseases. Most children out there are suffering from this problem and do not have the money for surgery."

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