By Chioma Obinna
MANAGEMENT and massive awareness campaigns of heart related diseases will next week take the center stage in Lagos following an international health summit aimed at educating Nigerians on the rising incidences of cardiovascular diseases in the country.
It is no longer news that at least one person dies of heart related problems almost on monthly basis in Nigeria but what matters are efforts at checking the trend.
The event which is a collaborative effort between Kanu Heart Foundation (KHF) and Max Super Specialty Hospital, New Delhi – India and Eko Hospital is designed to address the link between heart diseases and other chronic diseases that affect other organs of the body and create awareness about recognition and management of the diseases as well as conduct free screening for Nigerian patients suffering from heart diseases, kidney/liver, knee and joint and spine problems amongst others.
Among beneficiaries of the 2-day health summit billed to hold October 20-21, 2010, in Lagos are the 300 Nigerian heart disease patients on the waiting list of the KHF in the last one year and any Nigerian with a heart and health conscious who wishes to check up the functionality of his or her heart.
In an interview with Good Health Weekly, Coordinator/Trustee of Kanu Heart Foundation, said the summit with the theme: “Towards Optimal Healthcare Delivery” became necessary following complications found in most of their patients who usually present with more problems apart from the major heart problems that they have.
“We have seen various degrees of cases with life threatening complications. We discovered that heart problems are linked to other problems that affect other organs of the body. In most cases, when we take a patient to a hospital for screening it is there we will discover that such a patient has kidney problems and these things present late.
“These are some of the issues this summit is designed to address. The experts would examine what causes the problems and how they are linked to each other. We are also doing this to create awareness because most Nigerians are coming down with heart related diseases today.”
Abia said the Centre is currently battling to save the lives of 300 Nigerians including children. “It is sad that many corporate organisations are no longer willing to support these helpless Nigerians apparently due to the economic situation of the country and this is why we are devising means of helping the number of patients we can manage.”
Disclosing that the hospital has operated no fewer than 399 patients since inception in 2000, he said currently, the hospital gives 40 per cent discount on each surgery.
“Following the relationship we have with Max Super Hospital, they will be opening an information centre today in Lagos. A centre that will be dealing with problems associated with heart health and a host of others.”
Also, in November between 14 and 20, cardiologists from Emergency Italy an international Non Governmental organisation at the Salem Cardiac centre will be coming to Nigeria to screen some of our patients. Among the successful ones, at least 30 will be taken back to Italy for surgery free of charge.
The NGO has discussed with Kanu Nwankwo to be operating at least 50 Nigerians free of charge on yearly basis. This is purely Kanu’s initiative.
On the planned cardiac hospital by KHF, he said plans are under way to launch the hospital by January 2011.
While disclosing that the Governor of Lagos would be the guest of honour at the summit called on Nigerians with hearts to come out enmasse to participate in the summit.
“We are calling on Nigerians to come out and participate as participation is free of charge. We are also appealing to Nigerians with heart problems, Kidney/liver problems, joint, knee and spine problems to register for free consultation and participation at KHF office or Eko Hospital all in Ikeja Lagos.