By Chioma Obinna
A Consultant Cardiologist, and Head, Cardiac Surgery, Department, Saudi German Hospital, Dubai, Dr. Basem Duwederi, has urged Nigeria to embrace new medical solutions such as the use of Extra Corporeal Membrane Oxygenation, ECMO, also called Extra Corporeal Life Support, ECLS.
Speaking during the Nigerian Cardiac Society’s 45th Annual General Meeting and Scientific Conference held recently in Abuja with the theme: “The Heart in a Changing Environment”, President, of the Society, Duwederi,in his presentation entitled: “New Horizon: the Role of ECMO in Modern Cardiac Surgery, explained that ECMO is a method of saving life by replacing the work of the heart, lungs, or both in critical conditions, by driving the blood out of the body through a membrane oxygenator, with pressure back into the artery.
“ECMO sustains life while bridging organ recovery or organ replacement. ECMO is very important and should be used in every big modern ICU,” he added.
He said the device has been used on many Nigerian patients byhim in their Dubai Hospital, adding that establishing a hospital in Nigeria would help the medical team explore, provide better health needs and reduce the volume of medical tourism and capital flight.
“We are going to install and use the best possible medical equipment to conduct every kind of surgery no matter how complicated. Qualified specialists in all the fields of medicine will man the sensitive departments. Having handled very complicated health cases from Nigeria patients, we have resolved to invest, to explore the Nigeria market and know more about the specific health needs of Nigerians.
“We are not only going to concentrate on providing the medical needs of Nigerians but also work with Nigerian universities to improve medical research and help out with ‘residency’ programmes for young doctors,” Duwederi said.
Also speaking, President, Society, Prof. Amam Mbakwem, noted that the theme of the conference was apt as Nigeria and the world at large is experiencing change all around.
“I believe we would achieve much more if we tackled the cardiovascular problems from the primordial and primary standpoints, hence the need to embrace new solutions such as the use of ECMO.
“We have to move on with contemporary modern lifestyle, the increasing resultant effect of globalization. Successive leaderships simply did not foresee this, or clearly saw it but failed to make adequate provision to contain the effects; in terms of healthcare provision, the result is that we have a healthcare system that is very inadequate.”