[wysija_form id=”1″]March 18, 2015 – The Lagos State Governor, Mr. Babatunde Fashola today warned against the usual practice of flying Nigerian Presidents abroad for medical attention, stressing that the practice diminishes the image of Nigeria.
Fashola who was inaugurating the ultra-modern Cardiac and Renal Centre in Gbagada noted that flying the late former President, Alhaji Musa Yar’ Adua to Saudi Arabia when he became critically ill to manage his kidneys remains the low point in Nigeria’s history.
”We could have built one with all the petrol Dollars. The Federal Government does not understand that it diminishes our image every time that the head of government travels abroad for medical care”, he said adding that he is not suggesting that all specialist hospital be built in Nigeria.
The governor noted that in most countries the best hospitals are military hospitals where the President gets treatment, adding that Nigeria’s military hospitals used to be like that.
“What is the ailment that a Nigerian President goes to treat abroad that a Nigerian hospital built by him cannot handle?”, he queried.
Explaining the rationale for building the centre, the governor said that government sponsored very sick Nigerians abroad in 2008 and 2014 with tax payer’s money.
“There were 42 cardiac cases and 28 renal cases that benefited from the gesture of compassion from the ministry of health. There were also 11 renal cases that were state sponsored for kidney transplant, dialysis and post-transplant immunosuppressants at St Nicholas Hospital in Lagos”, he said.
He said the hospital has 24 dialysis bed stations, 20 beds for recovery and general ward use, two high dependency wards with five beds each making a total of 10 beds for patients in intensive care, four post-surgery beds for patients who just finished surgery, two cathlab beds and two surgical theatres built to the most contemporary standard to cater for people who are critically ill.
“There are two lecture rooms for students but one of the fascinating facilities is the surgical theatre where kidneys and hearts can be removed and transplanted. There are cameras fitted into the surgical scumps which project images and voices of what is happening in the theatre to the students lecture rooms on the ground floor”, he said, adding that the centre is an extension of the Lagos State University Teaching Hospital(LASUTH).
Earlier in his speech, Commissioner for Health, Dr. Jide Idris said that the prevalence of end stage renal disease in Nigeria is estimated at 290 per million.
“For these patients, renal replacement therapies in the form of dialysis or kidney transplantation are critical to improve the quality of their lives and prolong same”, the commissioner said.
Earlier one of the beneficiary of the centre, Mr. Alebioso said he was paying N75,000 to do dialysis twice a week in a private hospital but that he currently does it at N20,000 per week in the centre and thanked the governor for giving him the opportunity.