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The University of Calabar Teaching Hospital (UCTH) has performer its first open-heart surgery operations with a 70 per cent discount on the cost.

The operation, according to its Chief Medical Director (CMD), Prof. Ikpeme A. Ikpeme, is a partnership with the VOOM Foundation from the United States of America (U.S.A), Siggy reports.

“At this early stage, we are offering these surgeries at 30 per cent of their actual cost,” Ikpeme said.

The CMD expressed gratitude to the Federal Government, among other stakeholders, that contributed to the feat.

He said: “We owe a debt of gratitude to the Honourable Minister of Health and the Federal Ministry of Health.”

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The University of Calabar Teaching Hospital (UCTH) has performer its first open-heart surgery operations with a 70 per cent discount on the cost.

A statement on Wednesday by the CMD, which announced the successful surgery, reads: “Today, Wednesday, September 15, 2021, at 6.43 p.m, history was made in our UCTH, when the first-ever open-heart surgery was performed in our hospital and the patient safely wheeled out to our Intensive Care Unit.

“She had received a Mitral valve replacement, following about six and a half hours of surgery.”

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He added: “This has been the culmination of two years of hard work, determination, sacrifice, vision and focus at different levels of our hospital. And we must offer sincere gratitude to God and all who worked to make this happen. It is the guiding principle of this management to work quietly to achieve the Vision and Mission of our hospital and reposition her appropriately in the comity of Tertiary Health Institutions in Nigeria.

“The Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for Open-Heart Surgery Missions was signed with the VOOM Foundation sometime in 2015/2016. Things went quiet until the MoU was reviewed with the Foundation in July/August 2019 and UCTH made a commitment to actualise the programme and domesticate open-heart surgery in our hospital.

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“We have had to construct a new Theatre Suite, using in-house Engineering and Technical teams; we had to create a multidisciplinary Heart Surgery team; we had to clear two 40-feet containers from Onne Port, Port Harcourt, and invest in equipment worth millions of Naira (heart-lung machine, heater-cooler inter-exchanger system, cell savers, high end anaesthetic machine, high-end monitors, defibrillator with internal pads, ventilators, digital mobile x-ray system, among others).

“As far as I know, we are the first tertiary health institution in the Southsouth Nigeria to accomplish this and join a group of very few elite centres nationwide.

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