A MOTHER, Mrs. Harriet JoeImhanwa, has praised the management of the Lagos State University Teaching Hospital (LASUTH) over the treatment her daughter received in the hospital during an open heart surgery that went well. In a viral video she did to express her joy and satisfaction over the quality of service her 18-year old daughter, Iziehi, received in LASUTH, she happily described the experience as world-class, stressing that the medics and other professionals that handled her daughter’s case carried out their duties with empathy.
In the video, Joe- Imhanwa, a retired school principal from Edo State, said she was one of those who did not believe in Nigeria’s public health sector’s ability to deliver topnotch medical services until fate forced her to have a change of mind. Harriet, who was diagnosed with a hole in her heart, had approached some of the country’s best private healthcare facilities, but was unable to progress due to prohibitive charges.
However, LASUTH offered to help to rescue her daughter from the claws of death, which turned out to be successful. For this, Joe-imhanwa, who runs an NGO in Lagos in the memory of her late husband, has enjoined Nigerians to stop demonising local expertise, saying her experience at LASUTH has shown that the country still has hope, especially in the health sector.
While paying tributes to LASUTH’S consultant cardiothoracic surgeon, Dr. Bode Falase, JoeImhanwa said she was particularly moved by the quality service and the empathetic nature of treatment the surgeon and his team rendered from the beginning to the end. “I was not comfortable with government hospitals because I had my experience more than two decades ago with government hospital, whether it is federal or state. So, I did not want to have anything to do with them. But I did my investigation with private hospitals, and the price was skyrocketing; prohibitive for us that time because of our financial situation. I decided to go with LASUTH, not by choice, but because of the consultant cardiologist, Dr. Falase. Even when we did not have money to come forth, he kept chatting up my daughter, encouraging and checking up on her. I was amazed and thought, ‘ Do we still have people like this in Nigeria?” she said in the video.
Right from the time of raising funds, Joe- Imhanwa, said the surgeon assisted and encouraged her family until the surgery was performed this month. “The surgery was very successful. My daughter woke up even before the time they thought that she would wake up. I was asked to come into the intensive care unit. I opened the door, and boom! It was like I had entered a hospital abroad. Is this in Nigeria? It was so well equipped and neat that I was in awe. And I was like, ‘ How come people did not know about a place like this?’” she queried.
The Chief Medical Director of LASUTH, Prof. Adetokunbo Fabamwo, who said the hospital did not know anything about the video until it went viral, said he was happy that one “Nigerian came out to applaud what we are doing here.” While lauding the state government for making LASUTH a world-class tertiary health facility, the CMD said the management has often preached the gospel of kind and empathetic service delivery to all workers in LASUTH, saying it is an ethical cornerstone seekers of healthcare service appreciate when they enter any medical facility. “This is not the first time that we are doing open heart surgery with local staff. It’s only that she is the first person to give testimony. In the last one year, LASUTH has been doing open heart surgery with local staff without inviting expatriates or anybody and at rock bottom prices. We have the best cardiothoracic unit now in Nigeria,” said.