UCH offers open-heart surgery to 17-month-old boy and 9 others

As part of its research, training and service mandate, University College Hospital (UCH), Ibadan, in collaboration with Healing Little Hearts, a UK-based charity that provides free heart surgeries for babies and children, performed open-heart surgery on a 17-month-old boy on Monday with a plan to have nine more cases treated by tomorrow.

The 17-month-old boy, the second child of his Abuja-based parents, was diagnosed at birth with tetralogy of Fallot, one of the most common congenital heart diseases (CHDs). The birth defect affects normal blood flow from the heart to the rest of the body.

The baby’s father, a civil servant in Abuja, could not afford the cost of the operation outside Nigeria as his surgery in India and the United States was estimated at N12 million and N20 million respectively. This is apart from other costs such as travel and hotel expenses. The open-heart surgery, which was heavily subsidized, cost N3 million.

UCH Cardiovascular Team Leader Professor Samuel Omokhodion said open heart surgeries, with the support of Healing Little hearts, should be an ongoing exercise to ensure skills transfer, knowledge transfer and offer repair of heart defects in children.

According to him, “It’s not that the skills on the ground had no training; There is a learning curve. It’s about strengthening the skills of our young cardiologists so that they become more and more competent in what they do to the point that starting with not so complex cases, they can progress to taking on much more complex cases. complex.


Prof Omokhodion said open-heart surgery was capital-intensive and urged the public to support the hospital in its efforts to repair heart defects and give affected children new lives.

He added, “we need public support, the facilities for open heart surgery are at UCH, Ibadan now so that we can organize these exercises and help these children who otherwise will not even have the ability to travel abroad to undergo heart repair surgeries.

“We do this in the hope that they can find a new life and that their future destiny will be returned to them. We hope to restore them to a normal life expectancy and the opportunity to pursue their goals in life and contribute to Nigeria.