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UNTH, Swedish experts collaborate on neurosurgical interventions in Enugu

By Lawrence Njoku, Enugu
16 November 2022   |   3:34 am
A team of neurosurgeons from Sweden and University of Nigeria Teaching Hospital (UNTH), Ituku- Ozalla, Enugu State, has successfully operated on 15 complex brain and spine patients drawn from parts of the country.

A team of neurosurgeons from Sweden and University of Nigeria Teaching Hospital (UNTH), Ituku- Ozalla, Enugu State, has successfully operated on 15 complex brain and spine patients drawn from parts of the country.

Most of the beneficiaries were indigent Nigerians, who have lived with such health challenges for a long time due to lack of resources for treatment.

The surgeons, under the auspices of UNTH-Swedish Africa Neurosurgery Mission, began in 2018 to help improve service delivery to neurosurgical patients in areas that need complex brain and spinal surgeries.

They had carried out an earlier mission in 2019 at UNTH where seven neurosurgery cases were performed.

Chief Medical Director of the hospital, Prof. Obinna Onodugo, told reporters that the mission has boosted care services in the hospital, stressing that it not only helped improve skills, but also has brought with it ultra modern facilities that could be used to undertake any complex neurosurgical case.

Onodugo, who spoke through the Deputy Chief Medical Adviser in charge of Theatre and In-patient Department, Dr. Obinna Okwesili, boasted that with the facilities available, and training of its local experts, the hospital is now capable of handling complex neurosurgery cases.

He stated that the collaboration was aimed at reducing the cost of travel and other things associated with neurosurgery, noting that there is no need for people to travel outside the country for such health issues.

A professor of Brain and Spine Surgery at UNTH, who is the liaison between the hospital and Swedish-Africa collaboration, Prof. Enoch Uche, while highlighting benefits of the mission, stated that “it is a partnership that also involves training of local surgeons and nurses on comprehensive approach in delivering best care for neurosurgical patients that require surgery in the brain.

“They came with equipment to perform even more complex surgeries. The patients are all recuperating in the wards. Some of the surgeries lasted five hours; some 11 hours, and they were all performed successfully.”

He thanked the Swedish-African collaboration for the wonderful project, saying: “We can confidently say that the neurosurgical unit in UNTH can perform all manner of complex brain surgeries. There is no need for people to travel outside the country for surgeries, because the equipment is available, the skill set are available and the collaborations needed to sustain that is available.”