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FMC Makurdi records first successful knee replacement surgery

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• Imo wades into doctors’ strike, convenes meeting with NMA
In it effort to end medical tourism in the country, the Federal Medical Centre (FMC), Makurdi, Benue State, has recorded its first total knee replacement surgery.This followed successful spinal cord surgeries that were successfully conducted at the centre in 2018.

Its Chief Medical Director (CMD), Dr. Peteru Inunduh, who disclosed this in Makurdi yesterday, maintained that the institution would not relent in its plans to end medical tourism by providing various tertiary healthcare services to the people of the state and country.His words: “This will not only end medical tourism in search of tertiary healthcare service delivery but will save funds for the Nigerian government.

“Last year, we successfully did a spinal cord surgery in this hospital, it is the same drive that has taken us to start total knee replacement surgery and we think that there are a lot of patients within this area in need of such services.”The CMD explained that the secret of the centre’s successes was prudent management of scarce resources at its disposal.Lead Orthopedic Surgeon, Dr. Joseph Okoh, stated that the patient started walking 72 hours after the surgery and was recovering speedily as expected.

Okoh, an Egypt trained surgeon said to support the cause, management has waved all the theatre fees for patients, adding that four patients were ready for surgery in the next four weeks.Responding, the patient, Ms. Utibeabasi Ikpe, confirmed that she started walking 72 hours after the surgery, saying the pains have reduced drastically.

Meanwhile, the Imo State Government has intervened in the two-week industrial action embarked upon by doctors in the state owned hospitals.Consequently, patients at the facilities are currently suffering, as the institutions have been paralysed following the industrial action.

At the General Hospital, Umuguma Road, Owerri and others, the doctors are not attending to patients, as their relatives have been making alternative arrangements to evacuate them to private hospitals. The strike order was conveyed in a statement issued by the Imo State Chairman of the Nigeria Medical Association (NMA), Dr. Kyrian Duruewuru and President, Resident Doctors of IMSUTH, Dr. Chukwunta Bright.

However, Commissioner for Health, Dr. Angela Uwakwem, told The Guardian yesterday that she had scheduled a meeting with members of the state NMA led by Duruewuru at 2pm in Owerri. But reacting to the development, Uwakwem, said the striking doctors should have allowed the new board inaugurated last week by Governor Rochas Okorocha, who was represented by Secretary to the State Government (SSG), Mark Uchendu and newly appointed CMD of IMSUTH to review the issues, including salaries and CONMESS.


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