LUTH inaugurates centre for children requiring surgical operations
The Lagos University Teaching Hospital (LUTH), Idi-Araba, yesterday, commissioned a two-room Children’s Surgical Suites specifically for children requiring surgical operations.
Consultant Paediatric Surgeon and Chief Medical Director, LUTH, Prof. Chris Bode, told journalists at the inauguration that the Centre was a $450,000 donation from KIDS O-R, an overseas benevolent philanthropic organisation that funds the establishment of children-specific operation rooms in high-volume surgical units to enhance survival and minimise access challenges for children undergoing surgical procedures.
According to Bode, LUTH thus becomes the fourth beneficiary of this noble intervention after the National Hospital, Abuja, University of Nigeria Teaching Hospital (UNTH) Enugu and Kaduna.
The paediatric surgeon said children have a wide range of surgical needs, resulting in a number of birth defects that may require operations or complicate planned procedures.
“Although children under the age of 14 years constitute a whooping 45 per cent of the population, provisions for their surgical needs are subsumed in those made for adults in most centres. It is therefore common for surgeons who care for kids to queue up, waiting to operate on children in the same theatres where adults are prioritised and given preferential care over children, even in urgent circumstances. Elective cases also suffer prolonged delays,” he said.
Bode further explained: “Ten per cent of Nigeria’s 200 million population lives in Lagos. Nine million are children, aged 14 years or less. Yearly, 2.9 million children require elective surgeries in Nigeria and almost 300,000 of them reside in Lagos. Despite this high burden of surgery among our children, there were no dedicated surgical suites for children in Lagos until the Kids O-R theatres were built recently in LUTH. These two operation rooms have thus become the flagship of what type and qualitative capacity is required for surgery in children in Lagos and in fact, Nigeria.”
The surgeon said the journey started in 2018 when both the Paediatric Surgery Unit and Oral Maxillofacial Department (two Units in LUTH) independently applied to KIDS O-R for a grant to establish a dedicated operation room for LUTH’s paediatric patients. Bode said these two applications from LUTH were later merged into one and KIDS O-R agreed to build and equip two suites, one for the free Smile Train Programme and the other for Paediatric Surgery, at a total cost of $450,000. “The project was deeply thought out and its execution flawless. The ambience is soothing, not only for patients but also to those who work within it. Data will be collected from this foremost project to inform future local planning and surgical trends and within our sub-region as well,” he said.
Bode added: “On behalf of LUTH’s Board of Management, Staff and patients, I express profound gratitude to Messrs KIDS O-R for this profoundly impactful donation. We shall put it to good use for the maximal benefits of all kids who cross our threshold.”