Posted by News Express | 1 October 2014 | 7,483 times
For many years, Prof Ernest Madu, an internationally acclaimed Cardiologist, has not been happy over the deteriorating healthcare standards and devastating impact of heart diseases in the country.
And to help end this, he recently established the DOCS VIP Clinic and Heart Centre in Enugu.
His aim apparently was to bring to the doorstep of the people of the South East a centre that would take care of this deadly ailment of the heart, which hitherto had seen the people running to India and other countries abroad for treatment.
Madu who is well known all over the world has lectured to world leaders and Cardiology opinion leaders in many countries.
He had encouraged a US-based international company, IHS Group, who helped in huge financial investment required to establish the DOCS VIP Clinic and Heart Centre, which is of international standard.
In a chat with Oriental News, Madu identified heart disease as one of the leading causes of death and disability in the country and around the world.
“In fact, hypertension, one of the leading promoters of heart disease is so rampant in Nigeria and can be found present in some communities in as many as half of the adult population.
“Most times, it is unrecognised and inadequately treated, leading to severe complications like heart attacks, strokes and kidney failure. These complications can only be better prevented or controlled when healthcare workers are provided with appropriate diagnostic equipment and treatment tools,” he said.
He disclosed that the centre which cost him over N200 million to establish offers comprehensive cardiac care with health professionals at the top of their field in medicine, cardiology, hypertension and diabetes available at the centre.
The centre, he said, also offers comprehensive medical and diagnostic services, including routine consultations in heart care, hypertension, diabetes and general medical services.
“There is also modern equipment for rapid and accurate diagnosis of medical problems. There is an echocardiogram which assesses the function, flow and structure of the heart in real time as well as a-24 hour ambulatory blood pressure monitor for a 24-hour assessment of blood pressure profile,” he said.
According to Prof. Madu, “Our investigations revealed that this is the most accurate and reliable way to assess and treat hypertension and reduce the risk of heart disease and stroke. It is so accurate that in developed countries of the world, a diagnosis of hypertension cannot be made and treatment cannot continue, unless a 24-hour ambulatory blood pressure monitor is done.
“More significantly, it is easy and painless to do. Another monitor, Holter is available and used to monitor for irregular heartbeats that may lead to sudden death. And the best part is that this technology is now here in the South East and only available at DOCS. There is also a Stress Test Machine that is used to assess the function of the heart under stress and determine who is at risk for heart attack or to evaluate symptoms that may indicate a blockage of one or more of the heart vessels. Both the 24 hour ambulatory blood pressure monitor and the stress test machine at DOCS are the only ones that can be found anywhere in the South East or South-South.
“One of the most exciting innovations offered at DOCS is that the facility is linked to international centres of excellence via the Internet. This has given Nigerians the ability to obtain real time telemedicine consultation with international experts and panel of physicians at the clinic in Enugu without the need to travel overseas.
“In Nigeria and the sub-Saharan Africa, deaths attributable to heart diseases are projected to more than double by 2020. There is definitely a need for a centre like this. Heart disease has been the number one cause of death in the region for quite a while… it is a major cause of death and disability, a leading cause of hospitalisation …. Despite that there has been no properly equipped centre in the South East; the people who can afford to go abroad do and then the other people suffer silently.”
He disclosed that his Enugu clinic has reached out to teaching hospitals in the zone to take advantage of the facility in training young doctors and treating the patients.
Speaking about the potential opportunity and impact of the clinic, Prof Ernest Onwasigwe, provost of the College of Medicine, University of Nigeria, said: “Investments like this in healthcare infrastructure greatly improve our ability to deliver world class health care and furthermore train the young doctors in relevant skills that are needed to effectively deliver care in the 21st Century.
“We at the university are excited to partner with DOCS VIP Clinic and Heart Centre and certainly do encourage our students, medical residents and consultants to take full advantage of the equipment and facility to advance knowledge and improve the care of our patients,” he said.
Reacting to the establishment of the centre, the Chairman, Nigeria Medical Association, Enugu State chapter, Dr. Obinna Onodugo, said that the NMA has been a partner with DOCS from the concept stage to actual implementation, having executed a partnership agreement early on how to ensure the smooth take off of the innovative clinic.
Also, Dr Peter Chime, a cardiologist and head of Medicine, Enugu State University Teaching Hospital, disclosed that the Department of Medicine, ESUTH, has an existing Memorandum of Understanding with DOCS and uses the clinic for the training of their residents and students, as well as for diagnostic evaluation of their patients to improve quality of care.
•Credit (except headline): Oriental News/Daily Sun.
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