Earlier this month, a major medical record was broken in Nigeria after twenty-four open-heart surgeries were successfully carried out in ten days on adults and children.
The extraordinary accomplishment happened at the Dame Irene Okwuosa Memorial Hospital in Oraifite, Anambra between the 31st of October and the 11th of November, 2022.
It was made possible courtesy of Oilserv Limited in partnership with the Sir Emeka Okwuosa Foundation and the US-based VOOM Foundation.
A statement seen by Nairametrics explained that this was the second in a series of medical fairs that first saw eight Nigerian patients benefit from successful open-heart surgeries in May 2022. The latest medical outreach cost about N180 million and saw participation from 45 medical doctors from Sweden and the USA. None of the patients incurred any of the costs.
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More details: During the medical fair, twelve patients received cardiac cathetharizations, even as one patient received a pacemaker insertion. These are life-saving operations, especially for the children involved. As you may know, heart disease is the most common form of child defect in West Africa, affecting at least one in a hundred children.
Aside from the open heart surgeries, the medical fair also recorded 348 general practice cases, including diabetes, arthritis and hypertension diagnosis and treatments. Again, all of these came at no cost to the patients.
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Note that two observers from the Federal Ministry of Health and other representatives from the Paediatric Association of Nigeria (PAN) and the Nigerian Society of Paediatric Cardiology (NISOPAC) were on the ground observing the procedures.
Commenting on the accomplishment, the Group Chief Executive Officer of the Oilserv Group and Founder of the Foundation, Engr. Dr. Emeka Okwuosa, said:
‘’We believe in the power of humanity to solve any challenge. Oilserv and the foundation’s contribution to families, and communities in Anambra and Nigeria at large aligns with our deeply rooted commitment to impacting lives positively and supporting the Federal Government of Nigeria. Through our continuous open-heart missions, we look forward to making strong and lasting inroads into reducing the heart disease burden by 35% of the world’s most affected population through affordable cardiology delivery and research actions in Africa.”
Why it matters: It is worth noting that Nigeria performs fifty open heart surgeries in a year, according to available records. Therefore, having one hospital perform 24 open heart surgeries in ten days is a significant feat that has never been recorded in the history of the country and Africa at large.
Final notes: The Dame Irene Okwuosa Memorial Hospital is a multimillion-dollar investment by The Sir Emeka Okwuosa Foundation. It specializes in critical care management and automated surgery procedures
The Foundation’s poverty alleviation programme which also comes through capacity building, provision of basic amenities such as roads and water, and award of scholarships to the people, had improved the standard of living of people in Oraifite, neighbouring communities and Nigeria at large.