Rofessor of Medicine and Chief Executive Officer, Tristate Cardiovascular Institute, USA, Kamar Adeleke, has described heart related cases as the number one killer disease in the country. He said many people in the country live on borrowed time, obviously ignorant of their ailing heart conditions.
Prof Adeleke disclosed this at the unveiling of Tristate Heart and Vascular Centre at the Babcock University, Ilishan-Remo, Ogun State last week. He said the centre, equipped with state-of-the-art medical equipment, would compare with international standard and seek preventive measures to heart diseases ravaging Nigerians.
To raise hope for those suffering from the disease, Adeleke said the cost of the surgery at Babcock has been subsidised to $15,000 unlike the $75,000 to $150,000 cost obtainable in specialist hospitals in western countries.
A whooping sum of N2billion has already been invested in the centre located at the Babcock University Teaching Hospital, which would attract arrays of Nigerian medical professionals in Diaspora. Also, cutting-edge medical technology would be used for the open heart surgeries, which presently has a carrying capacity of three patients per day. With many patients already queuing for the procedure, the centre would soon expand to six operating rooms to allow surgeries for 18 patients per day, using hi-tech medical equipment.
Prof Adeleke, who is also a senior fellow at the American Society of Cardiologists, said several children afflicted with the disease were at grave risk because of late intervention. “Our goal is not to treat heart disease but to prevent it”, he added.
Other specialist doctors on the team at the Babcock University Teaching Hospital include: Dr. Edward Anderson, Dr. Michael Sanusi and Dr. Mudashiru Lawal
During the first open heart surgery in the university, there were 15 critical care personnel in the operating theatre that provided specific required services. They included perfussionists, cardiac operations nurses, internists and anesthesiologists. Over 40 successful surgeries had been handled within a short period of time.
The Vice Chancellor, Prof Kayode Makinde, said the university has entered another threshold in health service delivery with the inauguration of the highly reputed Tristate Heart and Vascular Centre, the first in Africa. He said the university would soon become a healing valley and set benchmark in medical education in Africa.
“Our service philosophy ensures compliance with international standards in terms of quality, effectiveness, and efficiency. The centre provides services that surpass the available cardio vascular services in the sub -Saharan Africa. The preventive cardiology team helps to support the centre’s goal of placing greater emphasis on prevention by organizing various outreach programmes and conducting regular health checkups,” he said.
Makinde said the open heart surgeries in the university would reduce capital flight from the country by obviating billions of Naira funnelled abroad by Nigerians seeking medical help. According to him, the university strives to set a benchmark in medical education and other specialty areas in the country and become the pride of African continent.
Makinde said the university had earlier commenced negotiations with lots of Nigerian medical professionals in Diaspora, promising that it would reverse brain drain to brain gain.
Some of the institute’s areas of specialization include cardiac surgery, heart catheterization, cardiac testing, paediatric cardiac care, critical care: comprising a critical care unit and the critical care team.
The Director, Marketing & Communication, Joshua Suleiman, said the new medical breakthrough at the Tristate Heart and Vascular Centre of the university would continue until all patients afflicted with heart related ailments receive effective medical cure.
While celebrating the feat, Prof Iheanyichukwu Okoro, a surgeon and senior Vice President of the university, described it as a milestone. Also, Mr. Olukunle Iyanda, Vice president, Development and Strategy of the university said the medical feat couldn’t have happened at a better time than this.