Akwa Ibom hospital carries out 10 open heart surgeries

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The Ibom Multi-Specialist Hospital in Uyo says it has successfully carried out 10 free open heart surgeries on children.

The Chief Medical Director (CMD) of the hospital, Dr Emmanuel Ekanem, disclosed this to newsmen during a facility tour of the hospital on Wednesday.

Ekanem said the operations, which were 100 percent successful, were carried out in collaboration with the Hospitals for Humanities, a Non- Governmental Organisation.

He said that another round of 28 open heart surgeries had been scheduled within the next two weeks for free.

The CMD said that the hospital was chosen in the country for the paediatric operations because it met the criteria set by the sponsor.

He further disclosed that two brain operations, one spinal cord surgery and the placement of a filter in the Inferior Vena Cava (IVC) had successfully been carried out in the hospital by Nigerian doctors.

Ekanem added that a brain tumour operation had also been scheduled in the hospital immediately after the free open heart surgery.

He said the hospital would commence the training of radiologists from 2020.

“Since I came on board in July 2019, we have done two brain operations and one spinal cord surgery. We have placed a filter in the IVC, the big vessel that carries blood from the abdomen to the heart, and the patient was out of the theatre in less than one hour, with the filter inside his IVC. I did not need to bring anybody from outside. The hands we need are available. I have what I need, but as we expand, we will need more people. Next week, we are going to remove a brain tumour with an entirely Nigerian crew. We have done a spinal cord surgery and the person is recovering in the ward.”

He said the state government had invested so much in the hospital, stressing that the cost of services in the hospital had been slashed by 50 percent.

The chief medical director said that the services were accessible and called on Akwa Ibom people to take advantage of the subsidised cost while it lasted.

Mr Kenneth Smith, a documentation officer with the Hospitals for Humanities, said Ibom Specialist Hospital was the only one chosen in the country for the free surgeries on children.

Smith said that the facilities in the hospital attracted them, adding that he enjoyed the hospitality of the people and the ambiance in the state.

Bilkisu Pai