A major breakthrough in healthcare delivery was recorded on Wednesday by the Akwa Ibom State Government, especially in the area of cardiology and cardiothoracic surgery, as a team of medical doctors performed first full implantation of transveinus cardiac pacemaker on two patients, using state-of-the-art medical facilities installed at the newly remodelled General Hospital, Awa, Onna Local Government Area.
The feat was achieved by the combined efforts of specialists drawn from various fields of medicine in government owned hospitals in the state, in collaboration with renowned cardiothoracic surgeons, Prof. Eyo Ekpe, and Dr. Ezekiel Ogunleye of the University of Uyo Teaching Hospital and Lagos University Teaching Hospital, respectively.
During a review of the operations held at the Conference Room of the hospital, where the two procedures carried out in the newly remodelled theatre was beamed to journalists, medical officers, observers, and patients’ family members, through a giant size television screen, Prof. Ekpe, who was the leader of the medical team said, they carried out the procedures using 21st-centurymedicare approach, aided by an advanced medical imagery device called the C-Armmachine.
He added that the procedure that was carried out was a transvenous cardiac pacemaker, which is done by implanting a small battery-operated device under the patient’s skin. It is technically connected to what is called a lead that links to the heart, which sends regular electrical impulses that helps keep your heart beating regularly.
According to the medical expert, “This hospital has a fully functional state-of-the-art theater, so when we were told that we were going to carry out a cardiac pacemaker insertion in this hospital, I knew we were in the right place for such a procedure”.
“Coincidentally, the two patients are females, who suffered heart block, but thanks to God Almighty and Governor Udom Emmanuel, who made this possible. I know that this is the first of these kinds of sessions of treatments that would be done in this hospital and in many other hospitals in the state”.
On his part, Dr. Ezekiel Ogunleye of Lagos State Teaching Hospital said, “There are some States in Nigeria that don’t have C-Arm machines in any of their hospitals. So, for the Akwa Ibom State Government to have bought these machines, they deserve commendations”.
“Doctors are not magicians. It is the equipment that you provide that they will work with. So when we see one like this, especially from a government hospital providing the best equipment, we should encourage them to do more, and then other states will copy them. ” Ogunleye added.
Also Speaking, Dr. Catherine Eyo of the Department of Anesthesia, University of Uyo Teaching Hospital, said she was excited about the fact that such complicated medical procedures could be achieved successfully in the state, without having to send the patients for treatment abroad. “I am proud of my identity as a citizen of the state. I want to appreciate the Governor for what he has done for the state. The equipment I saw in the theatre are the best. I know that there are many more of this type of cases out there, and when they know that cases of this nature can be treated here, they will come to draw the benefits of this hospital”.
Meanwhile, Dr. Ekem John, a member of the medical team has said that the renaissance in infrastructure and medical personnel witnessed in Akwa Ibom State, was as a result of the priority accorded the sector by Governor Emmanuel, through his Completion Agenda.
“If you go around healthcare facilities in the state, you will notice that the governor’s vision for quality healthcare delivery is being translated into visible reality, and with this kind of breakthrough, the state will soon become a destination for medical tourism in Nigeria” Dr. John said.
This development, according to experts, will reinforce public confidence in the health sector of the state. At the time of filing this report, the two females operated upon were still recuperating at the General Hospital, pending their discharge by the medical team, to reunite with their families and continue with their normal life. The entire cost of these pilot cardiac pacemaker procedures was borne by the Akwa Ibom State Government.