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Cardiovascular disease: only 14 specialists available in Kano

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With the population ranging between 15 and 20 million, Kano can only boost 14 cardiovascular specialists; including 10 cardiologists and four cardio surgeons available to manage the growing multiple cases of heart diseases and another related burden.

Besides the alarming dearth of manpower in the area of medicine, the Aminu Kano Teaching Hospital, the only general tertiary health
the facility in Kano lacks sufficient and functional care therapy, Cath labs and advance cardio care for sufferers of all kinds of heart diseases.

Dean, faculty of clinical science, Bayero University, Kano and consultant cardiologist, Professor Mahmoud Mohammad Sani made the
disclosure yesterday at the 1st Heart Colloquium organized by Aminu Kano Teaching Hospital in collaboration with Physicians Across
Continents, United Kingdom and Saudi Arabia Partners.

Apart from the alarming situation in Kano, the consultant cardiologist revealed that Nigeria has only 300 cardiologists out of 40,000 medical doctors, a statistic that conditioned a doctor to 5,000 patients ratio
in the country.

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The Colloquium with a theme; establishing and managing heart centers in developing countries; was engendered to elicit support for the proposed establishment of global standard heart institute and physical structure cardio center that will address the challenges of treating and training heart diseases in Kano.

Professor Mahmoud who advocated the urgent need for optimal cardiac care services in Kano raised concern on the overwhelming cases of
heart diseases greeting the AKTH on daily basis despite the huge deficiency in manpower, equipment and structural facilities to manage
the sufferers.

According to him, “ AKTH has 700 bed spaces with 600 doctors including 200 consultants. Out of this figure, we only have 10 cardiologists, four cardio surgeons to manage patients that besiege the hospital from across the six states of the Northwest and referrals from Northeast and Niger republic.

We have cardiology services of non-interventional, CT services, thoracic and non-open heart. We have one not functional cath lab.

“ Why our cardiovascular care is still underachiever remain largely due to not enough trained professionals, our medical school training
is deficient in the area which means, that doctors still think of such advance care as highfalutin,” Mahmoud said.

We lack political will and support of policies to sustain medical efforts. we lack policies, for instance, that can prohibit medical trip, perhaps government policy can be refocused to standard the local facilities. Today, Nigerians still spend about 75 percent on out of pocket on health care and even our health insurance scheme does not cover the care of a heart attack.”

Professor Mahmoud also regretted that of nine cath labs centers functional in Nigeria, Kano, and the entire North West and east states
lack such facility, despite the huge need in the region.

The university don was however optimistic that with the support of international partners, philanthropists and commitment of government,
establishment of the proposed cardiac center in Kano will be realistic.

A representative of Physicians Across Continents (PAC) Khalid Jahbir worried over low budget allocation on health care management in
Nigeria despite the resources, expressed willingness of the non-governmental organization to partner with AKTH in the realization
of the heart project.

Khalid said PAC is rendering humanitarian health services in 40 countries across the globe irrespective of ethnic, faith, gender or
races urged the Nigerian government to invest more in the health sector of the country.

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