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3,000 Nigerians seek medicare in India monthly’


About 3,000 Nigerians seek medical treatment in India monthly, it was learnt yesterday. Chief Medical Director of the University of Ilorin Teaching Hospital (UITH), Dr. Abdulwaheed Olatinwo, said at the 7th conference of the Association for Advancement of Cardiovascular Surgery and Medicine (AACVSM) held in Ilorin that heart-related diseases formed the majority of the reasons why Nigerians seek medical treatment abroad. Olatinwo, however, called for concerted efforts towards encouraging treatment of heart-related diseases and other ailments within the country.

The UITH boss noted that heart disease currently accounts for about 30 per cent of global disease mortality rate and about 47 per cent of deaths from non-communicable diseases.

He said congenital heart diseases account for many of the deaths in the developing world and that they have been associated with a lot of avoidable human suffering.

The Medical Director expressed hope that the conference, whose theme is: “Congenital Heart Disease” and sub theme: “Capacity Building in the Practice of Cardiovascular Surgery and Medicine,” would propose innovative solutions to elevate the quality of cardiovascular care available in the country to what obtains in the developed world.

Olatinwo said the UITH was aggressively pursuing an agenda of ensuring a total quality healthcare that guarantees patient satisfaction.

He said the hospital was investing heavily in the construction of a cardiac catheterization laboratory.

The President of the AACVSM, Peter Adeoye, said Nigeria was lagging behind in the open heart surgery as against the situation in other parts of the world.

He said: “Indeed, other African countries have progressed in this regard. South Africa, with population of about 50 million people has at least five standard cardiac centres serving the Western Cope region alone. Nigeria, with over 150 million people barely has one.

“Ivory Coast has at least two; Kenya has five centres in Nairobi performing and average of 150 open heart surgeries per year in each centre. Ghana and Sudan has at least a centre each also with similar volume of cases as in Kenya.”

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