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Mending Heart : The Birth of UBTH Cardiac Surgery Programme


The management of the University of Benin Teaching Hospital, on behalf of the Cardiothoracic Surgery Unit (CTSU), Department of Surgery, is pleased to announce the successful inception of the UBTH Cardiac Surgery Programme.

The commencement of this programme aligns with the current management’s strategic plan of advancing specialist services and the hospital’s broader vision of becoming the leading provider of quality healthcare solutions in West Africa.

Open-heart Surgery is one of the most complex procedures that can be conducted in any healthcare setting and requires seamless interactions between high-performing interdisciplinary health teams and functional theatres, laboratories, clinics and wards.

There is, perhaps no greater testament of a top-functioning health system than the ability to successfully perform this complicated procedure.

Coming barely one year after a landmark golden jubilee, the inception of this program proves without doubt that UBTH has come of age in the delivery of quality healthcare services.

Since the inception of our cardiac surgery programme, there have been two sessions. The latest was held from April 22nd through April 26th after rigorous planning and meticulous patient selection.

The high point was the performance of two open heart surgeries on children with congenital heart defects (ventricular septal defect and atrial septal defect, both with patent ductus arteriosus). Both surgeries were led by our own cardiothoracic surgeon in the CTSU, Dr Oseyi Dawodu.

The patients received round the clock monitoring and intensive care in the immediate post-operative period and comprehensive specialist care in the surgical ward thereafter. They were eventually discharged in an excellent clinical state on May 2nd, 2024, the holes in their hearts, mended.

This feat would not have been possible without the visionary leadership of Prof. Darlington Obaseki, the Chief Medical Director; the determination and competence of the cardiothoracic unit led by Prof. Stanley Okugbo, who also serves as the CMAC of the hospital; the collegial support of an all-Nigerian visiting team led by Prof. Sanusi of Babcock University, the philanthropy of Barr. Asue Ighodalo, Dr. Francis Ukpokolo, Engr Derrick Irianan, and the dedication of multiple teams within UBTH who aim daily to live up to UBTH’s core values of caring, respecting people, valuing lives, and striving for excellence.

The CTSU is particularly grateful to this bevy of hard-working healthcare teams including: anaesthetists; anaesthetic technicians; cardiologists; perioperative nurses; intensivists and intensive care nurses; haematologists; pharmacists; physiotherapists; laboratory scientists; biomedical engineers/technicians and Infection Prevention and Control practitioners, without whom the Cardiac Surgery Programme could not have been actualised.

As the CTSU gears up to regularize the performance of routine open-heart surgeries, the Management solicits the benevolence and generous spirit of individuals, Public and Private Corporate bodies and Non-Governmental Organizations for donations to sustain the program and ensure that UBTH remains steadfast in the noble mission of mending hearts.


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The University of Benin Teaching Hospital was taken over by the Federal Government on April 1st, 1975 as the fifth teaching hospital coming after Ibadan Teaching Hospital and Lagos Teaching Hospital.

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