No fewer than 5,000 per one million population require heart-related surgeries in Sokoto, Kebbi and Zamfara states, Acting Chief Medical Director of Usmanu Danfodiyo University Teaching Hospital, Sokoto, Dr Nasir Muhammed, has disclosed.
He said this was discovered at the commencement of heart surgery by the Usmanu Danfodiyo University Teaching Hospital, Sokoto in collaboration with VI University Teaching Hospiyal, Morocco.
The collaboration is part of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) that would further benefit other specialisations within the health system.
Muhammed said the disease was a common problem all over the world and anything that affect the heart could lead to untimely death.
Though he said heart surgery was capital-intensive, the CMD declared the hospital will charge at least N2million depending on the severity of the problem.
He explained: “These peoples are mostly poor who could not afford such treatment as before now, the only closest hospital where such operation is available is Nizamiyya hospital in Abuja and the least they can charge as much as N5million or one has to travel over sea where he can pay double,” he said
Mohammed however, appealed to governments, corporate organisations and wealthy individuals to support the programme for sustainability.
He stressed that the hospital alone cannot sustain it without getting their support.
“Open heart surgery is very expensive because of the kind of material used which majority of our people cannot afford.
“So we need the support of the government, Corporate organizations and wealthy individuals to sustain the programme,” he pointed out.
On the MoU, he said: “We made a lot of investment on the programme. We trained our staff doctors and nurses and equipped the centre with state- of- the art equipment in addition of signing a MoU with King Muhammad VI University Teaching Hospital, Morocco,” he explained.
Dr Abubakar Umar, a cardiothoracic surgeon with UDUS, said he had operated on five patients since the commencement of the programme on Sunday free of charge.
He disclosed three of the patients had their heart valve replaced, some born with abnormality in their hearts were also operated upon.
Dr. Umar said they were targeting a maximum of 10 patients for the current exercise disclosing that plans were underway to lunch a foundation to get support for people who need heart surgery as funding was their serious challenge.
Leader of the Morocco’s team and a Cardiovascular Surgeon, Professor Boumzevra Drissi, said heart disease was one of the major causes of death in the world, urging people to avoid smoking and excess eating which were part of causes of heart diseases.
Professor Drissi stressed the importance of funding for the sustenance of the programme.