A U.S.-based Nigerian heart surgeon, Dr Jonathan Nwiloh, revealed that he had carried out free heart surgeries for no fewer than 200 indigent Nigerians in need of life-saving interventions.
Nwiloh said the open heart surgeries were carried out through his foundation, Joe Nwiloh Heart Foundation, over the last 15 years.
He said he was driven by a passion to help advance the field of cardiovascular surgery in Nigeria and sub-Saharan Africa.
“Over the last 15 years since reintroducing open heart surgery in Nigeria, I have been performing free open heart surgeries for indigents who were otherwise doomed to untimely death without these life-saving surgeries.
“We have performed free heart surgeries to more than 200 indigents and also trained hundreds on emergency cardiovascular resuscitation for cardiac arrest victims,” he said.
According to World Health Organisation, cardiovascular diseases are the leading causes of death worldwide while in Africa, it is second to HIV and AIDS and projected to become the overall number one killer over the next decade.
Nwiloh cited the poverty level in sub-Saharan Africa as a major reason for his life-saving intervention.
He explained that the foundation had partnered the Federal Government and several state Governments, including Lagos, Kaduna State and Anambra since 2003, when Nigeria was in dire need.
“Joe Nwiloh Heart Foundation was founded to help tackle some of these societal challenges, which we have been championing over the last 15 years.
“To extend the benefits to more people, we are trying to form partnerships and solicit support for expansion of our various programmes to transform more lives,” he said.