The Afe Babalola University Multi-system Teaching Hospital (ABUTH), in Ado Ekiti, has recorded its first open heart surgery.
A team of medical experts at the hospital in collaboration with their foreign partners performed the open surgery, which review was witnessed by scores of residents and visitors.
The event became one of the first major landmarks in the area of cardiovascular surgical operations to be carried out in the varsity hospital.
Open heart surgery is any type of surgery where the chest is cut open and surgery is performed on the muscles, valves, or arteries of the heart.
The University of Nigeria Teaching Hospital (UNTH) in Enugu is reported to have carried out no less than 300 open heart surgeries in four years.
During the review, the team of experts, led by Tayo Adeleke and Paul Davies, US based Cardiologists, said they were able to record successes in all the patients operated upon, due to the wide exposure of the medical personnel and modern equipment in the hospital.
Adeleke, the team leader, advised that for the heart to be in good shape, all Nigerians must conduct a routine check on their blood pressure, which has been identified as major cause of heart failure globally.
He explained that the experts from US had before now, successfully performed well over 10,000 open heart surgeries across the world within the last 21 years.
“High blood pressure is a silent killer. It is the major cause of kidney failure, heart failure and sudden death among our population,” he said.
“The Life expectancy in Cuba is 81, that of USA is 80, so for Nigeria, which life expectancy is less than 50, to get to that level, focus must be on health sector.
“Good equipment and personnel must be provided in our hospitals, the way Chief Afe Babalola has done in his hospital.
“You can get quality health delivery here in Afe Babalola University hospital with what we have seen. With this hospital, I don’t think there is need for medical tourism again in Nigeria.”
Speaking at the event, Afe Babalola, the founder of the university, described the breakthrough as a celebration of a memorable success in the medical history of the country.
Saluting the experts, Babalola added that Nigerian doctors and other professionals are as brilliant as their counterparts overseas, but were being underutilised by the level of decadence in the system occasioned by paucity of equipment.
“It is sad that our people and hospitals in the country are not well equipped, they have no exposure to the right technology and that was why I established this university to make up for the gap,” he said.
“So, my advice to everyone is that, you must be ready to embrace the revolution we are pioneering here in this university.
“We are already partnering some hospitals in Sao Paulo, Brazil, India, Germany and Dubai to expose our medical students to better training in the course of being here.”
Fola Esan, the chief medical director of the hospital, said the medical facility was set up barely a year ago to properly educate medical students and to ensure the delivery of highest medical service as well as stop continuous outflow of patients and money overseas.
He said the medical facility has personnel and equipment to perform all forms of cardiovascular surgeries and other afflictions.
“The surgeries performed were done in a speed that had never been done before in Nigeria and in a manner comparable to how best it could be done anywhere across the globe,” he said.
Two of the beneficiaries, Tayo Akomolafe and Dr Bukola Balogun, expressed happiness over the kind of health services they enjoyed from the hospital.
“I came from Lagos after I had been diagnosed of complex heart problem. I was taken to the theatre and after 30 minutes, things were okay with me,” said Akomolafe.
“The equipment I saw were the state of the art and can compare with what you can get anywhere in the world.
“My advice is that Nigerians should no longer go abroad for medical treatment, you can get it right here in Ado Ekiti.”