‘Hospitals can’t handle heart attack even with three days notice’
Dr John Okereke, who led a surgical team in performing eight cardiac surgeries at Garki Hospital, says the level of heart surgery in Nigeria is so bad that most hospitals would be unprepared to handle a heart attack patient even with three days prior notice.
US-based Okereke told a briefing at the end of the latest round of cardiac surgeries at the hospital that in Houston, if the ambulance calls them on a heart attack case, the patient is in operating room within 30 minutes.
“The surgeon, the anesthetist standing over you are Nigerians. If they can do it there, why can’t they do it here? The only difference is attitude. That’s how bad our services are and a lot of Nigerians are dying of heart disease,” he said.
An all-Nigerian surgical team, including local surgeons and foreign-based workers, worked to fix holes in the heart of one patient, replace faulty valves with mechanical valves in three patients, bypass a blockage in another patient and open narrow exit valves in another.
Dr Ibrahim Wada, medical adviser for the Nisa-Garki group, said the centre will demonstrate that it is workable to high international standards, train others to do it, and hopefully while achieving it, the government will notice what is happening.