By Emmanuel Antswen/ Makurdi
The Federal Medical Centre (FMC) Makurdi, has begun spinal surgeries, successfully operating on five patients so far, the Chief Medical Director (CMD) of the centre, Dr Peteru Inunduh, said.
He told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Wednesday in Makurdi that the centre was the first health facility to conduct spinal surgery in Benue.
Spinal surgery is done to correct spinal fusion, also called spondylodesis or spondylosyndesis.
It is a neurosurgical or orthopedic surgical technique that joins two or more vertebrae, usually to relieve pain caused by nerve root pinching.
Inunduh said that the centre had trained consultant and specialist in Spine and Orthopedics in Egypt for the purpose “and since his return in 2017, the orthopedic surgeon carried out five successful spinal surgeries.”
The CMD added that 20 medical doctors of the centre were undergoing various specialist training around the world.
He said that the state government was ready to procure equipment for the spinal surgery theater, adding that “FMC Makurdi has seven standard theaters to accommodate the needs of trained specialists.
“We realised that equipment for spinal surgery are expensive and decided to have sub head in the
2018 budget for the purchase of medical equipment, and we intend to buy between 70 and 75 per cent of the equipment needed for such surgery.
“Apart from the spine orthopedic consultants we trained in Egypt, we also trained a consultant in India that specialises in plastic surgery, while another doctor gets set to go to India for gastroenteritis.
“We have 20 doctors who have either completed their training or are undergoing different kinds of specialists training locally and internationally.”
The director explained that the centre had palliatives that accommodate indigent patients through the
Department of Medical and Social Works where some patients who could not afford their medical bills were treated.
“We have indigent patients, we know they need healthcare services but they cannot afford, we don’t insist that they pay, we have a programme to attend to such patients without necessary collecting money from them, the programme is coordinated by Department of Medical and Social Works.
“Our joy is to provide services to Nigerians.”