Teaching Hospital (UNTH), Enugu.The exercise being funded by the Rotary International in partnership with two charity organizations- the Voom Foundation and Cardiostart, all based in the United States of America, is the 12th medical mission carried out in the hospital, since it restarted the open-heart surgeries three years ago.
It is also the third mission being carried out by the hospital this year with her overseas partners, bringing the number to about 43
persons that have benefitted from the exercise this year.
Chief Medical Director of the hospital, Dr Christopher Amah, who disclosed this to journalists at the weekend, said that the current
medical exercise which started last Tuesday would last for two weeks.
He said that Rotary International paid fully the flight tickets, hotel accommodation, among others, of the 16 volunteers from the two
international charity organizations participating in the medical mission.
He stated that the synergy from the three bodies led to a huge reduction in the cost of the surgeries with children now paying N300,000 and adults N750,000 as against N1.5million and N750,000 paid by adults and children respectively during last month’s exercise.
“This is a huge relief as it has grossly reduced the cost of open-heart surgery in this hospital. This kind of surgery costs over N2 million naira in hospitals overseas with the cost of flight and feeding. We are seriously targeting zero fees for the program to enable more people benefit from it.”
“For this exercise, we are using our two operating rooms against one before now and the heart surgeries are moving on concurrently. We have a long list of patients waiting to benefit from this exercise, but majority of them did not have the funds. Heart diseases have become very rampart especially in our local communities. Rotary is looking forward to making the UNTH the hub of the open heart surgeries in Nigeria. This is the reason why we must sustain the programme”, he said.
Rotarian team leader to the mission at the hospital, Dr Irving Henry Tohver, said his organization was pleased to partner with the UNTH for the programme, calling on government and corporate organizations in the
country to sponsor it.
He said that it is difficult for the programme to survive without participation from members of the public in view of the financial implication.
Voom Foundation President, Dr Vincent Ohaju and CardioStart team leader, Emily Anna Farkas, also harped on the need for Nigerians to
help the programme succeed especially now that the international donors were around.
They said they were optimistic that local experts from the UNTH would take up the surgeries fully in the shortest possible time.