Med­i­cal tourism bad for Nige­ria’s im­age – Kano emir

Daily Trust - - FRONT PAGE - From Nu­rudeen Oye­wole, Lagos

Emir of Kano, Al­haji Muham­madu Sanusi II, has said that Nige­ri­ans trav­el­ling abroad for med­i­cal care is bad for the na­tion’s im­age. Sanusi, while speak­ing at the com­mis­sion­ing of Tris­tate Heart and Vas­cu­lar Cen­tre at

Bab­cock Univer­sity, Ilis­han Remo, said “it is re­ally shame­ful that as en­dowed as Nige­ria is, it can hardly do any­thing for it­self.

“We have a pop­u­la­tion of well over 167 mil­lion peo­ple, yet the coun­try is in­ca­pable of do­ing things for it­self. Why are Nige­ri­ans em­bark­ing on med­i­cal tourism to Egypt, Dubai, In­dia, among oth­ers. Is that not a mock­ery of the health sys­tem? We are the largest pro­ducer of petroleum on the con­ti­nent, yet we are the largest im­porter of re­fined crude. We have a sec­tion of this coun­try that pro­duces tons of tomato, yet we im­port tomato from China. We are the largest pro­ducer of cas­sava, yet we don’t pro­duce starch”, he said.

The emir added: “The ques­tion then is why do we keep im­port­ing what we have and ex­port­ing what we don’t have? A clas­si­cal case was when Nige­ria un­der mil­i­tary gov­ern­ment or­gan­ised a demo­cratic elec­tion in Liberia. We didn’t have democ­racy at that time but we ex­ported it”.

The emir ex­pressed hap­pi­ness with the es­tab­lish­ment of Tris­tate Heart and Vas­cu­lar Cen­tre which he noted will go a long way in pro­vid­ing suc­cour to peo­ple suf­fer­ing heartre­lated dis­eases.

In his re­marks, former gover­nor of Osun State and former act­ing Na­tional Chair­man of All Pro­gres­sive Congress (APC), Chief Bisi Akande said it is time for all Nige­ri­ans to join hands to “silent the silent killer” which he said claims 17.3 mil­lion lives yearly.

Akande, who is also the Chair­man Tris­tate Heart Foundation (THF) said:”The statis­tic is quite frightening, es­pe­cially when you re­alise that one in ev­ery two per­sons you meet to­day is prone to this deadly dis­ease. The worst part is that, the vic­tim may not even know that he or she has it. Re­search has shown that the strong­est driver of heart fail­ure is un­di­ag­nosed and un­treated hy­per­ten­sion”.

The former gover­nor called on all Nige­ri­ans to sup­port the ini­tia­tive in­tro­duced by both Tris­tate Heart In­sti­tute and Bab­cock Univer­sity. He also urged Nige­ri­ans who have health is­sues re­lat­ing to hearts to stop em­bark­ing on med­i­cal tourism “when the ail­ment can now be han­dled suc­cess­fully in Nige­ria”.

From left: Pres­i­dent/ Vice Chan­cel­lor, Bab­cock Univer­sity (BU), Prof James Kay­ode Makinde; Pro- Chan­cel­lor, BU, Dr Oyeleke Owolabi; former Gover­nor of the Cen­tral Bank of Nige­ria, Mr Joseph Sanusi; Chair­man, Tris­tate Heart Foundation/ former in­terim chair­man of APC, Chief Bisi Akande; The Emir of Kano, Muham­madu Sanusi II; and Pres­i­dent/CEO, Tris­tate Car­dio­vas­cu­lar As­so­ciate, Prof Ka­mar Adeleke, dur­ing the in­spec­tion tour of the fa­cil­i­ties com­mis­sioned at Tris­tate Heart and Vas­cu­lar Cen­tre, Bab­cock Univer­sity Teach­ing Hospi­tal in Ilis­hanRemo yes­ter­day.

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