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By Chioma Obinna & Toheeb Idris

The Lagos University Teaching Hospital, LUTH yesterday announced its readiness to perform the first bone marrow transplant for the cure of sickle cell anaemia as part of  activities to mark the 60th anniversary of the health institution.

Making the announcement during a press conference on the unveiling of the 3-month long anniversary, the Chief Medical Director of the hospital, Prof. Chris Bode said other landmark projects will also be commissioned in the hospital.

Bode also added that a new 30-bedded Intensive Care Unit, ICU is also being completed while a new outpatient complex is under construction.

He said the complex comprises five buildings, each having 4 floors built to house 256 consultation rooms, 16 waiting areas, 16 nursing stations, eight meeting rooms, eight patients’ lifts and many other facilities including a car park, cafeterias, shops, amongst others.

Reeling out the achievement of the hospital over the years, Bode stated that LUTH has remained one of the best teaching and specialist hospitals in the country.

He said: “In medical practice, the hospital has been designated a centre of excellence in dentistry alongside a major breakthrough of the successful conception and delivery of the first authentic test tube (In-Vitro-Fertilization) baby performed by the duo of Professors Osato Frank Giwa-Osagie and Oladapo Ashiru at the hospital.

“The hospital also renders services in specialized areas of Medicine like Neuro-Surgery, Haemo-dialysis, Radiation Oncology, Ophthalmology, Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Cardiothoracic Surgery, Urology, Paediatric Surgery, Maxillofacial Surgery, Ear Nose and Throat Surgery, Haematology, Medical Microbiology, Community Health, Child Dental Health, Restorative Dentistry, Maternal Health, Psychiatry, Orthopaedic Surgery etc,” the CMD said.

In terms of skilled personnel, LUTH has the highest concentration of skilled medical and paramedical staff in different areas of medicine which explains why LUTH is always the focus when foreign countries, oil companies and highbrow private hospitals in Nigeria are recruiting medical manpower.

Bode stated that LUTH pioneered Small Incision Cataract Excision Surgery in Nigeria and has trained over 40 doctors from all over the country in the procedure in the past years.

“The hospital has also commenced laparoscopic general and gynaecologic surgery which has dramatically reduced the duration of hospitalization after surgery,” the CMD said.

He added that LUTH can now boast of comprehensive Diagnostic Centre and VIP Clinic, state of the art Laboratories, Radiodiagnosis, Radiotherapy and Renal Dialysis facilities in the years of its existence.

From a humble beginning of 330 beds, he added that LUTH is today the largest teaching hospital in Nigeria with over 1000 beds, while with the College of Medicine of the University of Lagos, the hospital is involved in the training of hundreds of Medical, Dental, Pharmacy and other Allied Health Science Students.

Bode added that the hospital has also produced thousands of nurses, laboratory scientists, health records officers, biomedical engineers and other para-medical cadres.

He noted LUTH’s consultant staff have similarly made significant contributions to the advancement of knowledge in major areas of medical science, particularly with separation of conjoined twins and in-vitro fertilization.

As part of measures to upgrade its facilities, LUTH keyed into the Federal Government driven Public Private Partnership, PPP, initiative to provide state-of-the-art facilities.

Through this, the multi-million dollars NSIA-LUTH Cancer Centre (NLCC), the first of its kind in West Africa was achieved, alongside LUTH Blood Banking System, Radiodiagnosis Centre, Independent Power Project, Sickle Cell Centre/LUTH Bone Marrow Transplant Centre, Olusola Dada Dialysis Centre & Renal Institute etc.

Today, LUTH, through the Independent Power Project, IPP, generates its own electricity and enjoys uninterrupted power supply since December 2017.

“The biggest Renal Institute in Nigeria, Isaac Olusola Dada Dialysis Centre and Renal Institute is already commissioned and presently functional while the 60-bedded Alima Atta Oncology Wards is near completion.

Similarly, the Lagos University Teaching Hospital has also partnered with Smile Train since 2007 to support free surgical treatment of patients with orofacial clefts, with over 800 surgical repair of cleft lip and/palate done in LUTH so far.

With PPP initiative, the hospital has been supported by Smile Train in orthodontics care, speech therapy and nutrition for patients with orofacial clefts.

Also, Kids Operating room (KidsOR); a global health charity focused on bringing equitable access to safe surgery for all children, and Smile Train supported LUTH with a grant of over $500,000 for the renovation, furnishing and equip 2 state-of-the-art paediatric theatres, dedicated only for children surgical procedures.

Bode added that LUTH has grown from a 500-bedded hospital to over 1000-bedded hospital serving over 25 million Lagosians and its neighbouring states.

During the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, Prof. Bode said the hospital played very significant role in fighting the scourge with admission of 1054 patients, and over 38,850 samples processed for COVID-19 diagnosis.

He noted that as LUTH celebrates and look up to its centennial celebration, in the next 40 years, the hospital will continue to engage all stakeholders to define the new goals and projects for the future.

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