Inside ABUTH’s heart surgery centre
From Isa Sa’idu, Zaria
The Ahmadu Bello University Teaching Hospital (ABUTH), ShikaZaria, recently commissioned its cardiothoracic centre that will be providing specialised medical services, including surgeries, to patients with heart, lung and other chest diseases.
With the commissioning of the cardiothoracic centre, Nigerians with heart ailments and other related diseases do not need to travel abroad. The centre is set to start major cardiothoracic surgical operations, which will include open heart surgery.
The Chief Medical Director (CMD) of ABUTH, Professor Lawal Khalid, said the services of the centre would bring succour to Nigerians as it had the ability to reduce medical tourism on heart and other related ailments.
Information obtained by Daily Trust indicates that the centre has a 17 ward-bed capacity with six for females, six for males, four for paediatric patients and one amenity. There is also a cardiothoracic laboratory for diagnostic services, a medical health information unit, pharmacy, procedure room and a side laboratory.
Provision for a 3-bed capacity intensive care and a 2-bed high dependency unit are being made. There is also a seminar room and a lounge that are attached to the centre.
While commissioning the centre, the Minister of Health, Professor Isaac Adewole, said the heart facility would be of immense benefit for northern Nigeria.
He said the centre was a product of collaboration between the University of Nigeria Teaching Hospital (UNTH), Enugu, and ABUTH.
“The partnership between the National Centre of Excellence for Cardiothoracic Surgery at UNTH, with ABUTH will start providing specialised medical services for heart, lung and other chest diseases. The centre will go a long way in reducing medical tourism abroad by Nigerians. Undoubtedly, it will also help in conserving the much needed foreign exchange and boost our economy,” Adewole said.
He further explained that the Federal Government was working assiduously towards ensuring Universal Health Coverage (UHC) for all Nigerians, and that his ministry was ensuring the achievement of the UHC through the use of sustainable financing mechanism, especially by the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS).
Commenting on the centre, Kaduna State Governor, Nasir el-Rufa’i, said ABUTH and the Federal Ministry of Health deserved commendation for establishing the centre, which, according to him, would stem the tide on medical tourism for heart conditions.
He said the state government believed in partnership for the promotion of healthcare, hence the support that it was offering to ABUTH for it to realise its dream of providing clinical services at its Tudun Wada Annex in Zaria.
Daily Trust reports that prior to the commissioning of the cardiothoracic centre; patients with serious heart-related ailments were often referred to other hospitals in Nigeria or abroad from ABUTH.
The news of the establishment of the centre has brought excitement to residents of Zaria. One of the residents, Yunus Aliyu, said, “Although I am not suffering from any heart disease, but the centre would definitely bring relief to many patients. I remember a case of a 12-year-old girl that was suffering from a heart disease around 2009. Because of the absence of this type of centre at ABUTH, the parents had to beg for assistance before good Samaritans sponsored her to India, otherwise the innocent girl would have become history by now.
“Honestly, we commend the efforts of the government and the hospital management. Our prayers are for the hospital management to make the services that the centre would be rendering affordable to allow the less privileged to benefit. Maintenance of the centre should also be given priority.”
Minister of Health, Professor Isaac Adewole (2nd right), flanked by the ABUTH CMD, Prof Lawal Khalid, and other dignitaries at the commissioning ceremony
Pediatric unit of the centre
Facilities at the centre
A treatment facility at the centre