Doctors Perform First Pacemaker Insertion Procedure in Akwa Ibom GENERAL HOSPITAL

….as doctors commend Governor Udom Emmanuel for strides in the health sector

At the cost of N2,500,000 each, two indigenes of Akwa Ibom state, Grace Umoh, a civil servant from Ikono Local Government area and Stella Eshiet, a business woman underwent successful implantation of a transvenous cardiac pacemaker for heart block free of charge. They stand in history as the first set of patients to undergo the procedure in a General hospital in the state.

As explained by the team of Doctors, a heart block is a situation where a person’s heart beats is slower than normal and the rhythm is irregularly abnormal because the natural electrical signals or impulses which control the heart beats and which emanates from a structure in the heart called the SA node (or pacemaker) are either partially or completely blocked. This may be due to age or disease, and this can lead to dizziness, being easily fatigued, fainting and other complications. As a remedy, a man-made heart battery called pacemaker is inserted under the skin with lead wires connected to the heart to aid functionality.

The Co-team lead and Chief Consultant, cardiothoracic surgeon, Dr. Ezekiel Ogunleye from Lagos University teaching hospital (LUTH) said “the two patients are doing well and can start eating immediately. They are awake, everything is functioning well and by Friday, they should be discharged to go home”.

On the facility used, he said that “to insert a pacemaker, which is the crux of the matter, a C-arm fluoroscopy is needed and it is very expensive. My colleagues saw the excitement in me when we came into the theatre and I said that look, even with the best of the best anywhere in the world, none of them can beat this theatre in General Hospital Akwa Ibom. I won’t mention the name of my state but I was jokingly saying in theatre that I don’t mind my state coming to learn from Akwa Ibom and becoming a second Akwa Ibom, you can call it Akwa Ibom II if you like, because this will contribute towards stop medical tourism abroad. It is a state-of-the-art facility.

Ogunleye added “A doctor is not a witch. It is the medical equipment you provide that helps us in all that we do, so when we see one, especially from government hospitals, we should commend them so they can do more. Often times we look at the federal government but the state government can do it too and play their part to end ‘Japa’ syndrome. Akwa Ibom has set the pace and I am excited”.

Speaking on the facility after his last visit in 2019, the team lead and Chief Consultant, Cardiothoracic surgeon and Deputy Chairman, Medical Advisory Committee, University of Uyo teaching hospital, Prof Eyo Ekpe, said the defunct Comprehensive Health Center, Awa has been fully renovated and upgraded to a General hospital with well-equipped theater. “When we were told that we were carrying out the insertion in this hospital, I came here yesterday and realized that we were at the right place for the procedure”, he applauded.

Chief Consultant Anesthesiologist at the University of Uyo teaching hospital, Dr. Catherine Eyo, said she is elated that it is happening in her lifetime. “Cases like this used to be taken outside Nigeria. The equipment in this theatre is out of this world. Citizens should be educated that this condition has no diabolic connotation so they can benefit from it”, she added.

Chief Consultant Cardiologist, Department of Internal Medicine, University of Uyo teaching hospital, Dr. Taiwo Shogade, said patients have previously died because they did not meet this facility in Akwa Ibom. “If this facility were to be here, perhaps some of them would still be alive. In the past, one must travel outside the country or to Lagos and Abuja. They sold their properties to raise at least five million and could not afford treatment”.

According to Dr. Ekem Emmanuel John, the Convener & Chief Innovation Officer of the Healthcare Alliance ( HEAL) for Umo Eno, “the theatre and corollary facilities meets the standard of any modern theatre and noted that the second of such in the same facility is currently underway courtesy of the Akwa Ibom State government. “This procedure is one that in the past people used to travel abroad and spend up to $15,000 to $20,000 abroad but we now have it here. The Governor is making no pretense about his vision for the Akwa IBOM Health Sector which includes that organ transplant will be done in our health facilities and people will come into Nigeria and Akwa Ibom for treatment with our own home-grown professionals”. He particularly praised the Personal Physician to the Governor & Senior Special Assistant (Medicals) for his tireless efforts and passionate implementation of the Governor’s vision describing him as an Akwa Ibom Patriot and a forthright courageous leader with a passion for excellence.

On the on-going free medical outreach at the hospital, Dr John praised Pst Umo Eno for his passion for healthcare and rural development and thanked friends of the PDP Gubernatorial candidate who supported the mission.

Dr Udoudo Okonnah, Medical Superintendent, General Hospital Awa, appreciated the Governor for his giant strides in changing the face of the Secondary health care system in Akwa Ibom State.

Other members of the medical team were Dr Ifiok Etim of Government House Clinic, and Consultant, Cardiothoracic surgeon, University of Uyo Teaching hospital, Dr Aniefiok Akpan.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

%d bloggers like this: