Nigerian cardiologists record breakthrough in heart surgery

Cardiovascular care and training recorded a major feat in Nigeria as two Consultant Cardiologists who have been training as Interventional Cardiologists at Tristate Heart and Vascular Centre, Babcock University Teaching Hospital, made history when they solely performed Cardiac Catheterization at the centre on Sunday.

Cardiac catheterization is a procedure to examine how well the heart is working. A thin, hollow tube called a catheter is inserted into a large blood vessel that leads to the heart. This is to enable the physician know if patients have disease of the heart muscle, valves or coronary (heart) arteries.

In a release signed by the Chief Operating Officer of Tristate Cardiovascular Associate (TCA), Dr Olukunle Iyanda, the duo of Dr Ifeoluwa Adewoye and Dr Mirabel Nwosu, both females, have being training at the centre under the tutelage of the CEO of TCA/ Dean of the Department of Cardiology, Prof Kamar Adeleke for a year now having served as assistants in the previous procedures, they were given the opportunity to solely perform the procedure while Prof Adeleke observed.

Prof Adeleke said what took place at the centre is a dream come true since one of his major aims of coming back to Nigeria is not only to provide the advanced cardiovascular services that is so well needed but to also have a strategic development to train and develop local capacity, for the treatment of advanced cardiovascular related ailment in the country.

In Nigeria, a country of over 180million people there are only three or four Cardiovascular Interventionist who are Nigerians. These Interventionists trained in USA and Canada and amongst them, is no female.

Today, Dr Ifeoluwa Adewoye and Dr Mirabel Nwosu, represent the first set of Cardiovascular Interventionists, trained in Nigeria. Prof Adeleke said, “We are not enough yet to make our programme sustainable we have to look inward. We have to be able to build our own capacity by building our own people.

What the two doctors did today is very remarkable because in the US you must have spent at least three years in the Cat lab before they will let you do this, and they have only being here for one year, I can say categorically that this is the fastest in history as regards the training in Interventional Cardiology procedure because I have trained people.”

“In the United States, the government pay 100,000.00 dollars per trainee and having understudied the situation in Nigeria, the option is for the trainee to pay for it but we didn’t do that for now rather, Tristate and Babcock University decided to bear the burden of training and paying the trainee with the hope that when we finish training them, they would be part of us. To achieve this is tough.

It takes a lot of courage, stamina, determination and the skill to know that you belong here. These ones are the senior for those that will be joining soon; our plan is to have four trainees every year until we have built enough capacity.”

The consultants said: “The experience was good. To have the procedure up to yourself is a good sign that we are advancing in our career even though by American standard, we are expected to perform 300 assisted procedures before we can start to perform this kind of procedure, without being supervised so that you will have gathered enough confidence to handle any challenges you may encounter when you start performing on your own.”

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