The University of Ilorin Teaching Hospital (UITH) yesterday said it has successfully conducted open heart surgery on two children suffering from cardiovascular diseases.

The surgery was conducted in partnership with Apollo Children’s Hospital in Chennai, India.

The two patients were among the four admitted in the hospital for the surgery.

The operation is expected to be carried out on the other two patients in the next couple of weeks. The two patients; Aishat Jibril, 15 and Kamalat Balogun, 7, are said to be in stable condition.

Briefing newsmen on the open heart surgery programme of the hospital, the Chief Medical Director, Professor Abdulwaheed Olatinwo said the university ventured into the programme to assist the poor people whose children are dying because they could not afford the treatment abroad.

Daily Trust learnt that the surgery was conducted on the patients within three hours in conjunction with the team from India. The Apollo Hospital team led by Dr. Neville Solomon voluntarily supported the UITH’s open heart surgery initiative.

The CMD noted that cardiovascular diseases are the number one cause of non-communicable diseases deaths nationwide, saying the hospital decided “to move into this new realm of service delivery to give succour to helpless patients in the society and contribute our quota to reversing the current trend of medical tourism to hospitals outside the country and end the associated capital flight”.

Olatinwo said the hospital spent over N108 million to buy some facilities which the hospital hitherto lacked, adding that it purchased a heart-lung machine which was used during the mission.

The CMD said to sustain the new phase of clinical care, “a lot of financial investment is required and I want to use this opportunity to appeal to the government at all levels, public spirited people and corporate organisations to partner the UITH to fully equip our cardiac centre to include a cardiac catheterization lab”.

The CMD lamented poor power supply, lack of potable water and the inadequacy of access road to the hospital, especially from the Kulende junction-Sango-Oyun bridge-Apata Yakuba axis.

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