Akwa Ibom hospital makes history, performs first full cardiac pacemaker implant - 9japarrot


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Friday 17 February 2023

Akwa Ibom hospital makes history, performs first full cardiac pacemaker implant


By Nurat Uthman

A major breakthrough in healthcare delivery was recorded on Wednesday, February 15, 2023, by the Akwa Ibom State Government, especially in the area of cardiology and cardiothoracic surgery, as a team of medical doctors performed the first full implantation of a transvenous cardiac pacemaker on two patients.

The epochal surgery was carried out, using the state-of-the-art medical facilities installed at the newly remodelled Awa General Hospital in Onna Council.

The feat, described as the first of its kind in the hospital, was achieved by the combined efforts of specialists in various fields of medicine, drawn from 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.

At the review of the operations held at the Conference Room of the hospital, where the two procedures carried out in the newly remodelled theatre were beamed to journalists, medical officers, observers, and the patient’s 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 the 21st-century medical approach, aided by an advanced medical imagery device, called the C-Arm machine.

He said: “This hospital has a fully functional state-of-the-art theatre, so when we were told 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 blockage in their hearts, 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 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 them with 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.”

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 today is the best. I know 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,” she said.

Meanwhile, Dr Ekem John, a member of the medical team, has said the renaissance in infrastructure and medical personnel witnessed in Akwa Ibom State, was as a result of the priority accorded the sector by 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,” he 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 cost of these pilot cardiac pacemaker procedures was borne by the Akwa Ibom State Government.

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