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LUTH gets children’s surgical suites

By Guardian Nigeria
21 November 2021   |   1:34 am
The Lagos University Teaching Hospital has commissioned a two-room Children’s Surgical Suites specifically for children requiring surgical operations.

Chief Medical Director, Lagos University Teaching Hospital, Prof. Chris Bode (2nd right) and other management  staff at the commissioning a two-room Children’s Surgical Suites specifically for children donated by KIDS O-R.

The Lagos University Teaching Hospital has commissioned a two-room Children’s Surgical Suites specifically for children requiring surgical operations. The Centre is 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. LUTH thus becomes the fourth beneficiary of this noble intervention, after the National Hospital, Abuja, UNTH Enugu and Kaduna.

Children have a wide range of surgical needs, bringing along 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.

Ten percent of Nigeria’s 200 million population lives in Lagos. Nine million are children, aged 14 years or less. Annually, 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 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. 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 subregion as well.

Chief Medical Director, LUTH, Prof. Chris Bode, on behalf of LUTH’s Board of Management, Staff and patients, expressed profound gratitude to Messrs KIDS O-R for the profoundly impactful donation. He pledges: “We shall put it to good use for the maximal benefits of all kids who cross our threshold.”

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