A body of experts in the field of cardiovascular and thoracic surgery in Nigeria was recently inaugurated with a mandate to tackle cardiac and thoracic challenges and improve professional practice in cardiac as well as open heart surgery in Nigeria.
The body – Association of Cardiovascular and Thoracic Surgeons of Nigeria (ACTSON) – according to its president, Dr. Bode Falase, a cardiothoracic surgeon and Head of Unit at the Lagos State University Teaching Hospital (LASUTH), Ikeja, will, among other of its mandates, seek to improve the practice of cardiac and open heart surgery in Nigeria, while also ensuring a sharp reduction in errors arising from wrong diagnosis, tests, treatments, transfusion and improve survival rates generally.
Falase who spoke recently at the inaugural meeting of the body at the Lagos University Teaching Hospital (LUTH), Idi-Araba, Lagos, with a theme: “Advancing Cardiothoracic Surgical Practice in Nigeria,” said there has been an increase in cardiac related health issues in Nigeria, which has moved up the ladder to assume the number one killer disease status now in Nigeria. He said ACTSON would henceforth begin to pay closer attention to the issues.
Earlier, during his paper on the theme: “Healthcare Financing in Cardiac Surgery in Nigeria,” former Ekiti State Commissioner for Health as well as ex-Executive Secretary of the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) and Associate Professor of Surgery, Dr. Femi Thomas, harped on the need for government to ensure universal coverage in the scheme.
In his words: “NHIS needs to be re-energised and made more functional…everybody must be carried along and covered in health insurance in Nigeria, while the NHIS itself should be purely a regulatory body.”
ACTSON has a six-man inaugural executive committee for a two-year tenure in office led by Dr. Bode Falase as president; Dr. Yahaya Adamu, Vice-President; Dr. Okonta Kelechi, Secretary-General; Dr. Augustine j. Olugbemi, treasurer and Dr. Mudasiru Salami as Public Relations Officer (PRO).