By Gabriel Olawale
President of the West African College of Surgeons, WACS Professor King-David Terna Yawe, has urged Nigeria government to streamline the training programme for cardiothoracic surgery in other to have two or three well equipped centres that can meet international standards.
Cardiothoracic surgery also known as thoracic surgery is the field of medicine involved in surgical treatment of conditions of the heart and lungs. Yawe who spoke during the official commissioning of the permanent secretariat of the West African College of Surgeons, WACS, in Lagos, said such decision would be a boost to the sub-region and as a College they are willing to offer technical advice and support for its actualisation. He also expressed willingness to assist the Nigerian Armed Forces to set up a Post Graduate Medical Programme.
“In this regard, we commend the numerous strides of President Muhammadu Buhari in improving the health sector. We congratulate the Nigeria government for signing into law the Residency training Programme bill and the generous allocation made in the 2018 Appropriation Bill to address health needs of the country.
Yawe pointed out that the actualisation of the secretariat building which cost the college N1.2 billion was a symbol of unity of West Africans. “It is another example of Anglophone-Francophone integration, cooperation and the pride of West African Surgeons who levied members and raised N1.2 billion for the permanent secretariat without bank loans or support from the public sector.
“It was the dream and desire of the founding fathers and successive generations of College leadership to build a befitting office for our operations. In 2010, the first step was taken to raise funds for this project under the leadership of Emeritus Professor O.O. Mbonu.
“In 2012 land was purchase during the tenure of Professor OK Ogedengne and foundation was laid in 2014 by Professor Herve Koffi Yangni-Angate Jnr.
Yawe recalled that when he assumed office in 2017, he chose middle and high-level surgical manpower development and extension of safe surgical services to the grassroots a priority.
“In partnership with the Presidential Committee on the North-East Initiative and Pro-Health International, we have been conducting outreaches in Yobe, Borno, Adamawa, Gombe and Bauchi States and in Kebbi State where tens of thousands were offered free surgical services.
“We also carried out similar outreaches in Enugu and Abia states. Our Surgical Outreaches Committee has been performing credibly in many other nations and has been requested to assist Central African states in the same vein.
“To ensure essential surgery is readily available, our Surgical, Anaesthesia and Obstetric Plan Committee is working to generate data and develop National Surgical plans for each nation in line with global trends as captured in World Health Assembly Agenda 68, SGDs and AU Agenda 2063.
In his remark, Past President of the College, Prof. Olajide Ajayi stated: “It is another tutorial on unity in diversity, pragmatic decision-making processes, balanced judgments, strategic planning, personal sacrifices, courage and devotion to duty, institutional trusts and abiding faith in the Divine guidance which permeated successive generations of our college leadership.”