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FG Resuscitates Open Heart Surgery at UNTH Enugu

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SAN FRANCISCO, April 04, (THEWILL) – The Federal Government has resuscitated the open heart surgery unit of the University of Nigeria’s Teaching Hospital, UNTH, Enugu.

This followed the suspension of activities at the unit ten years ago following the movement of the UNTH from an old site within the Enugu metropolis to its permanent site at Ituku-Ozala.

Minister of Health, Prof. Onyebuchi Chukwu, who inaugurated the heart surgery unit last month, said it was in line with the transformation programme of President Goodluck Jonathan’s led administration.

According to Chukwu, the resuscitation became necessary in order to forestall the current trend whereby Nigerians are flown abroad for medical missions. “There is no reason why medical skills should not be available in Nigeria,” he said, pointing out that the re-visiting of the project was made possible through partnership with some foreign organisations.

The hospital is currently working with a United States based Non-Governmental Organisation, the VOOM Foundation, also known as the Vincent Ohaji Memorial Foundation, which led a team of 14 medical experts to Nigeria for the sole purpose of resuscitating the programme at the UNTH.

Four cases have been handled since March 18, when the partners arrived, thus stemming the tide of medical mission to India and so on.

Another mission is planned for May and July, thereby targeting to garner four missions before the year runs out.

Open heart surgery at the hospital is currently being conducted at a subsidised price of N500,000.

Minister of information, Mr Labaran Maku , told State House correspondents at the close of the Federal Executive Council (FEC) , Wednesday, that his health counterpart, Prof. Chukwu briefed the council about this, indicating that with this development, Nigerians now have the chance to have the operation within the country without having to travel abroad.