The first lady, Mrs Aisha Buhari, has expressed her determination to continue to provide all the necessary technical and material support towards improving the health and wellbeing of Nigerian children.
A statement, made available to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) by her head of Information, Mr Suleiman Haruna, on Tuesday in Abuja, said the first lady was speaking when she invited a team of cardiac surgeons from Italy who were in Nigeria to offer a free heart surgery for less privileged children.
Haruna said the exercise which was a collaboration with her Future Assured Programme was aimed at providing relief for less privileged children living with complicated heart diseases.
The first lady used the opportunity to draw the attention of stakeholders to the high rate of heart disease among Nigerians, a condition she said was too expensive for average Nigerian to manage, leading to avoidable morbidity and mortality.
The statement indicated that the cardiac operation was a product of a collaborative effort between her NGO, the future assured Programme, the Italian surgeons and the surgeons from the Federal Medical Centre in Jabi, Abuja, where she expressed confidence that the exercise will also ensure a transfer of expertise.
The statement also quoted the leader of the 13-man medical surgeons from Italy, Prof. Oppido Guido, as expressing their excitement for the opportunity to visit Nigeria and share experiences with professional colleagues and impact on the lives of the sick children.
Guido said the first lady has shown magnanimity by sponsoring the surgeries completely and should be commended.
Also speaking, the Chief Medical Director, Federal Medical Centre, Jabi, Prof. Sa’ad Ahmed, expressed happiness for the choice of his hospital for the surgeries.
The CMD, while reaffirming the uniqueness of his Hospital in conducting such surgeries, said the hospital has been recognized as the best government hospital among the Commonwealth countries.
Sa’ad commended the first lady for providing a state-of-the-art Quantum Medtronic Heart Lung Machine with a diagnostic module, which is required for conducting surgeries of this nature.
The machine, he said, is the first of its specification in Sub-Saharan Africa.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the open heart surgeries, sponsored by the First lady, are targeted at children and will run for one week from Jan 21 to Jan. 28, 2023.
Similar missions will hold at different hospitals across the country (NAN) (www.nannews.ng)