Poised to reduce medical tourism in the state and the country at large, the Lagos State University Teaching Hospital (LASUTH) has signed an agreement with the Indian based hospital, Apollo, to set up a Kidney Transplant Centre, for the benefits of patients and practitioners.
Speaking with journalists at the official launch of the renal transplant centre in Lagos on 14 February, the Chief Medical Director (CMD), LASUTH, Prof. Adewale Oke, explained the motive behind the collaboration, which is to beef up knowledge in that area of practice, as well as to improve the know-how of Nigerian doctors’ on kidney transplant.
“We are partnering with Apollo Hospital in order to improve on what we have. Our arrangement is such that they will come, work with us, look at our patients, advice, and if necessary we will be able to send some of our consultants and resident doctors to their hospital.
The LASUTH CMD explained how far they have gone in the practice of kidney transplant, stating that they began since 2015 and had conducted five transplants with its indigenous doctors carrying out the surgeries.
He further explained that the partnership will afford the Nigerian doctors the opportunity to work in Apollo Hospital-larger renal transplant centre, and learn better on the skill. “We also want to create an opportunity to empower our doctors by improving their skills and there are two options;
“It is either we send our doctors there or bring the doctors here so that the skills can be transferred,’’ he said.
Prof. Oke also noted another motive of partnering with the Indian based hospital, which was to reduce medical tourism in the state and the country at large.
Oke said: “The beauty of reducing medical tourism is to ensure patients are treated here in an environment they are conversant with and among their relations.
“I am not saying we are going to do everything here. Patients that are identified to have special issues who we may not be able to tackle here, we may now ask the government or if they can afford it, take them to Apollo Hospital to have their surgeries done,’’
He said that LASUTH would also be extending partnership with Apollo Hospital in other specialties including Cardiovascular (heart) surgeries.
One of the visiting doctors, Dr Manoj Gumber, a Consultant Nephrologist, Apollo Hospital, said that renal transplant was the best form of renal replacement therapy.
Gumber said: “The government should understand that it is costly to do a dialysis programme, but it is cost-effective to support a renal transplant programme.
“No doubt, initially, the cost of the facility, exchanging ideas, and travelling may seem higher, but looking at three years down the line, the cost of transplant is definitely going to be low.