Headline Health News

80,000 Nigerian children born with heart disease

About 80000 children are born with heart related problems annually in Nigeria, Provost, College of Medicine at the University of Benin, Professor Wilson Sadoh has said.

He also said the figure is outside daily clinic and emergency room cases.

Professor Wilson stated this during a symposium entitled ‘Developing a Sustainable Cardiac Programme in a Resource –Constrained Environment’ at the Ibadan College of Medicine.

Unfortunately he said, majority of children cannot have access to healthcare due to financial constraint, hence the need for a sustainable cardiac programme to ensure that children with congenital heart problem have access to treatment.

A Paediatric Cardiologist at the Obafemi Awolowo University Teaching Hospital and Complex, (OAUTHC), Ile Ife, Professor John Okeniyi, maintained that a sustainable paediatric cardiac programme would mean a change in curriculum, increased investment in preventive cardiology, training of the workforce as well as advocacy for policies on heart repairs for children.

‘’It is a concern that only children from wealthy families survive this diseases in Nigeria’’, he said and stressed the need to move beyond health insurance funding to community funding. 

Still on funding, another Paediatric Cardiologist, Dr. Bode Falase of the Lagos State University Teaching Hospital (LASUTH), said dependence on government and cardiac missions for funding as well as limited public awareness of heart repairs in children are the menace of the programme in Nigeria.

Writing Onwurah Juliet; Editing by Annabel Nwachukwu