By Asmau Ahmad
The Federal Government has advised Nigerians to seek information on the treatment of some diseases locally before thinking of going abroad, saying local hospitals are now treating some of the medical issues.
The Minister of State for Health, Dr Olorunnimbe Mamora, gave the advice while inspecting some newly acquired facilities to improve the care of patients at the Federal Medical Centre (FMC), Jabi in Abuja.
According to him, the advice became necessary because many of its hospitals across the country were now treating some of the medical issues pushing some citizens outside the shores of the country.
The government insisted that lack of awareness had compelled some Nigerians to seek treatment for certain diseases abroad rather than locally.
He said the government had put measures in place to address medical tourism.
Dr Mamora said state-of-the-art equipment were being procured by the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari, to make the treatment of surgeries less cumbersome.
The Minister stated that many public hospitals in the country were now treating some medical issues pushing Nigerians abroad.
“There are other areas of medical tourism and we will be addressing them gradually. We are applying state-of-the-art equipment that would make the procedure less cumbersome.
“I can assure you that President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration is doing so much in terms of upgrading facilities to make them suitable for the exigencies of the moment.
“The affordability and sustainability are components of the Universal Health Coverage.
“All the medical team that carried out this surgery are Nigerians living in Nigeria. This goes to confirm the long-held view that with the conducive environment and availability of necessary equipment, we have competent Nigerians that can really carry out this procedure excellently well,” he said.
Earlier, the Chief Medical Director of FMC, Abuja, Professor Saad Ahmed, said the hospital has conducted an open-heart surgery the “first of its kind in this facility.”
“We were able to do it successfully and all the patients are doing quite well. The open-heart surgery is quite delicate and requires a lot of skills and commitment.
“On this, the Federal Government through the Federal Ministry of Health was able to get some infrastructure and some equipment in this regard. We usually send some people for training in various accreditation because open-heart surgery is teamwork.
“Many people at this moment are undergoing some forms of training. The essence of this is for us to domesticate this and make it a routine procedure in the FMC, Abuja.
“This is for the benefit of all Nigerians but we are looking at how this could benefit our neighbouring countries and some other parts of the world. We are starting something small but we are looking at how we can make it big in the nearest future,” he said.
Ahmed explained that the surgeries carried out were possible through the support of Save A Heart Foundation UK, which, he said, provided “skills transfer and also donated some equipment.”