By Chioma Obinna
In line with advancement in surgery procedures particularly in knifeless surgery, the Lagos University Teaching Hospital, LUTH, Idi Araba, Lagos, has procured a Medtronic Laparoscopic Simulator machine valued at 80,000 Euros for the training of laparoscopic surgeons in Nigeria and beyond.
The machine, first of its kind in the West African sub-region, according to the Chief Medical Director of the institution, Prof. Chris Bode, would also provide up to date knowledge to practicing surgeons.
Unveiling the equipment and other machines during a training workshop by members of the Nigeria Society of Laparoscopic Surgeons, NISOLS, in Lagos last week, Bode said the machine was same as those thousands of Nigerian surgeons go abroad to train on.
“We are happy we have this machine now in LUTH today. It will boost activities in the health sector because it is an opportunity for surgeons to practise and perfect their skills on keyhole surgeries.”
Continuing, Bode who said electricity will no longer be a problem at LUTH, said already the hospital is addressing epileptic power supply holistically with a 3.48 MW electricity generating plant, awaiting gas link to start working in few weeks.
“Nigerian surgeons do a lot of work and with these machines in place the future of surgery is assured. It is a good day for Nigerians. A few years ago, we did not have these machines but we can proudly boast of them today. The cost of the surgery is still low because we want many Nigerians to enjoy the service.”
Bode also disclosed that Company also donated to the hospital five brand new laparascopic machines.
Speaking, President, NISOLS, Dr. Jimi Coker, who is also the Chief, Surgery Unit, Lagoon Hospital, Lagos, said with the machines and training centre in place, the future of laparoscopic surgery is brighter.
He said the training which brought together cream of laparoscopic surgeons across Nigeria and beyond, was aimed at transferring knowledge to the trainee doctors as well as ensuring that the future of laparoscopic surgery is guaranteed in Nigeria.
He cited poor power supply, lack of skills and training of surgeons, as well as insufficient awareness of patients as major challenges of the new trend of surgery in the country.
Coker who explained that laparoscopic surgery is the future of surgery said apart from Caesarean Section, CS, the keyhole surgery can be carried out in any other surgery cases.
“With the key hole, you put a camera in the patient, and that serves as your eyes, so effective power supply is essential.
“Nigerian would-be patients do not need to travel abroad for the procedures they can safely and confidently have in the country. With the keyhole surgery compared to the open surgery, quick recovery of patients is assured. It also guarantees shorter stay in hospital.”
Taking turns to speak, a Ghana-based surgeon at the 37 Military Hospital, Accra, Ghana, Dr. Nuamah Nabil stated that the state of laparoscopic surgery in Ghana is still in its infant stage as it was started in the hospital in 2013. He said there are only two other laparoscopic centres in Ghana.
Nuamah, who noted that Nigeria had taken the lead in laparoscopy in the West African sub-region, said the workshop was in the right direction as Ghana and other countries have a lot to learn. He said they look forward to partnering with LUTH, since Ghana currently does not have a centre or laboratory to start training their residents.