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Nigeria making advancements in cardiac treatment – Experts  

Nigeria making advancements in cardiac treatment – Experts

Dr Adeyemi Johnson, Chief Executive Officer (CEO), First Cardiology Consultant, says treatments for most cardiac diseases are now available in Nigeria.

Johnson made the assertion in his keynote address at the Lagos University Teaching Hospital (LUTH), Idi-Araba, 4th International Scientific Conference with the theme: “Interventional Cardiology:Advancing the Frontiers in Cardiovascular Care”.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the sub theme of the conference is “Maintaining Ethical Standards in Healthcare Research”.

Johnson, a Cardiologist, explained that interventional cardiology was a branch of cardiology where rather than doing heart surgery, the procedure goes through the blood vessels to fix the problem in the heart.

“It is sort of minimally invasive surgery similar to invasive surgery for cardiologists”.

From the cardiologist’s perspective, he said that right now in Nigeria, the same treatment given abroad is what is obtainable in Nigeria.

However, the only thing lacking now s that Nigeria has not started doing heart transplantation.

He identified a challenge associated with this treatment to be affordability.

According to him, these procedures are very expensive because most of the devices and consumables used are imported.

Johnson said that 90 per cent of patients pay out of their pockets, running generators is expensive and it adds to the cost that would be impacted on the patients as well.

Earlier, Prof. Wasiu Adeyemo, Chief Medical Director, (CMD) Lagos University Teaching Hospital (LUTH), said that the emphasis of this year’s scientific conference was on cardiology, the heart.

“Talking about interventional cardiology, cardiology as a specialty has grown beyond what it used to be, to the extent that you might not be able to differentiate between a cardiologist, interventional cardiologist and a cardiac surgeon.

“There are so many procedures that are within the confine of surgeons. Now, interventional cardiologists who are well experienced are also doing it.

“The most important thing is that you are having an increase in many of these diseases that are related to the heart and the reason we are in existence is to take care of the patients,”he said.

Adeyemo said that the majority of the experts were in the private sector and that now they are developing capacity in public institutions and one of the ways to thrive was collaboration.

He said the Federal Government had allocated funds in the 2024 budget for LUTH to have its own cardiac catheterisation laboratory, meaning that in the next one year or thereabout, LUTH was going into interventional cardiology.

Dr Rufus Ojewola, Deputy Chairman Medical Advisory Committee (DCMAC), LUTH, said that the theme talked about doing surgery on the heart without opening it up.

Ojewola, also the Chairman, Local Organising Committee (LOC), said that these were things that were not locally found before, that could only be done abroad.

“The message of the conference is that these minimally invasive procedures whereby you are going to be doing something on the heart without opening it up, are now locally available in some private sectors and LUTH is trying to set its own up too’’.

Ojewola said that he could assure that in the nearest future, patients would come to LUTH to get it done because they were at an advanced stage of setting up.

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