The Federal Government has advised Nigerians to seek information on the treatment of some diseases locally before thinking of going abroad.
The Minister of State for Health, Olorunnimbe Mamora, gave the advice while inspecting some newly acquired facilities to improve the care of patients at the Federal Medical Centre, Jabi in Abuja.
Mamora said state-of-the-art equipments were being procured by the federal government to make the treatment of surgeries less cumbersome.
The Minister stated that many public hospitals in the country are now treating some medical issues pushing Nigerians abroad, adding that the government had put measures in place to address medical tourism.
“The affordability and sustainability are components of the Universal Health Coverage.
“There are other areas of medical tourism and we will be addressing them gradually. All the medical team that carried out this surgery is Nigerians living in Nigeria. This goes to confirm the long-held view that with the conducive environment and availability of necessary equipment, we have competent Nigerians that can really carry out this procedure excellently well.”
Meanwhile, the Chief Medical Director of the centre, Saad Ahmed, explained that the open surgery was the “first of its kind in this facility.”
“This is for the benefit of all Nigerians but we are looking at how this could benefit our neighbouring countries and some other parts of the world.
“We are starting something small but we are looking at how we can make it big in the near future.”
Ahmed explained that the surgeries carried out were possible through the support of Save A Heart Foundation UK, which, he said, provided “skills transfer and also donated some equipment.”
“Many people at this moment are undergoing some forms of training. The essence of this is for us to domesticate this and make it a routine procedure in the Federal Medical Centre, Abuja
He said, “Because of that, we were able to subsidise the cost for the patients. But in the long run, we want to call on philanthropists, some corporate organisations and societies to actually come forward, to subsidise the cost of this surgery through donations to our Medical Indigent Fund.”
Ahmed added that the centre has established the Medical Indigent Fund which is being managed by some members of this hospital’s community, all with the aim of generating some funds to assist the indigents.