Inside Nigeria’s most sophisticated Heart Surgery Specialist Hospital

Professor Kamar Adeleke explaining a point to media executives inside another state-of-the-arts facility at the center
The ultra modern
heart surgery facilities at Tristate Heart and Vascular Center,
Babcock
University Teaching Hospital
, Ilisan
Remo in Ogun State-South West
Nigeria might be the long awaited solution to the challenges threatening the
lives of elite Nigerians who spend fortunes every year to seek medical help
abroad for heart related problems.
The center
played host to selected health journalists from some media houses in Nigeria
(Including Asabeafrika) on Tuesday July, 5, 2016. Asabeafrika had received
an impromptu invitation on Monday July 4 to be among a team of visiting
journalists to the center the next day which happens to be a public holiday in
Nigeria.
The take off
point was at the Sheraton Hotel and
Towers
, Ikeja Lagos to Remo
town in Ogun State. We took off in a
fully air conditioned bus belonging to the Center at 9:15 am and got to Ilisan Remo at 10:10 am.

Chief Executive Officer of Tristate Health & Vascular Center, Dr. Kamar  Tayo Adeleke

The Center
tucked inside the serene and beautiful ambience of Babcock University and equally affiliated to the Babcock University Teaching
Hospital
is a statement in modern global health technology blessed with
a team of highly trained black and white heart medicine specialists.  
In line with
World Health Organization standards
we were asked to pull off our shoes behind a rack and handed white hygiene
slippers to enable our movement around the facility seamless.  By 10:15 am, we were seated in the guest room
of the center where Professor Kamar  Adeleke,
the Chief Executive officer of the center appeared after 5 minutes to welcome
us into Nigeria’s most equipped Heart Surgery Hospital, Tristate. Professor
Kamar
who was on a blue duty dress was with his Chief Operating
Officer, Dr. Olukunle Iyanda, a tall and suave
man in black suit.
Prof, as the CEO is famously addressed by
his team took delight in leading us almost immediately into the first segment
of the visit—facility tour. Kamar, a very amiable and intelligent
health practitioner is the kind of man you will meet once and you get arrested
by his strength of character.

Professor Kamar Adeleke sharing a heart  surgery experience with Media Executives

He is Intelligent,
down to earth, humorous and knowledgeable in his art.  
As the chief
salesman, spokesman and Chief Executive Officer of the Center, Professor
Kamar
was passionate about making his guests understand the workings of
the various x-ray and heart solution equipments domiciled in various rooms of
the center to the benefits of human heart.
The Ibadan,
Oyo state born American trained cardiovascular expert and Professor of medicine
did an excellent job of telling his guests more about the technological and
natural benefits of the various heart surgery equipments in the various pre and
post surgery facilities in the center.
From close observations,
this blog discovered that the numerous heart treatment facilities which runs
into millions of dollars in term of value are not only going to help Nigerian
homes shed significant expenses incurred on health tourism abroad, annually for
victims of cardiovascular disorder. The opportunity intends to offer among many
other benefits, cheaper rates for cardiovascular treatment compared to the various
emoluments that goes into the capital flight of medical tourism.
From available
facts in the health circle, an average Nigerian medical tourist spends between $20,
000
and $40,000 extra budget on each medical trip or she makes (This
excludes other emoluments like transport, shelter and food). On such fearsome
trips, Open Heart Surgery (which is the core practice

Professor Kamar Adeleke explains a candid point to the GDA

of THVC) renal
transplant, brain surgery, cancer and eye treatment are the most sought after
treatments by Nigerians.
However, with
the kind of equipments domiciled inside Dr.Kamar’s Tristate Heart and Vascular
Center
(THVC), Nigeria might be on the path to help reduce her health tourists’
78% budget cost in annual health tourism capital flight. As if reading my mind
as it searches for answers on how the Tristate Health intervention could
save Nigerians from spending painful fortunes to treat loved ones abroad
annually,  Dr. Kamar reacted while
talking to journalist inside one of the heart diagnostic lab  “Depending
on the procedure, we charge between N2.5 million and N4 million for treatment”.

  The Albert Einstein Medical Center, USA
trained cardiovascular expert continued “Our equipments here conforms to international
standards and all our technologies are latest. It cost us N2.4 billion to put this center together and we incur millions of
naira in maintenance monthly”.

L-R; Dr. Michael Sanusi, Dr. Tosin Majekodunmi, Professor Kamar Adekunle, Dr. Olukunle Iyanda & Dr. Bola Oyesola

We moved
from the diagnostic laboratory down to dialysis lab where the heart of man is
taken out, treated and reaffixed for a better living condition. We moved from
one room to another as the excursion got more and more exciting with each
journalists firing Kamar from every angle. 
The team of experts around us grew from Professor Kamar and Dr.
Olukunle Iyanda
to that of the center’s Chief Anaestrologist, in the
person of Dr. Bola Oyesola, a very calm and calculated practitioner.
Professor Kamar’s enthusiasm grew as the sight-seeing
tour continued and we asked more questions about the several benefits of the
equipments that dotted the center. Questions on the economic implications of
importation of the health equipments and how the rising cost of dollars has
affected the projection of center negatively were tackled by Dr.
Iyanda
while Professor Kamar threw light on the
value of expertise available. The facility tour continued until we got to the
Heart surgery theatre where some hi-tech health facilities were to be unveiled
for observations.  

Members of National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) on a special visit to Tristate

The testimony of Mrs. Onyekwelu
It was in
the course of the facility tour that a testimony spree sprung up from a section
of the heart surgery theatre. Professor Kamar and his team were
about showing us some advanced equipments for coronary artery repairs when a
lady who later introduced herself as Mrs. Phillipa Onyekwelu came from
the intensive area of the theatre to narrate her story to us without being
prodded to do so.  “Please, are you journalists?” she asked before committing herself
to us.  She began her story after we
answered in the affirmative “My husband
was in a critical condition that Doctors even gave him one week to live. We
were actually preparing to fly him abroad but the strength to even stand 13
hours flight was no longer there. Somebody recommended this place
(Tristate)
to us. Initially when they said we should
change his valve (Aortic Valve replacement) we were so skeptical about
operation in Nigeria. We were even suggesting India but we discovered that even India, you go there and return, after a year, the person is gone.
Not until somebody gave us this address. We called the Doctors to attend to us.
And behold, it was like this people that came from America (Visiting Specialists) purposely came because of my
husband. They are like angels; as if they came to Nigeria just to heal my
husband because the stress was actually too much until we finally came here”.

Mrs. Phillipa Onyekwelu sharing her Tristate testimony with Media Executives

Mrs. Onyekwelu whose husband, Mr.
Chuma
Onyekwelu
is one of the numerous patients inside the heart surgery ward
told us why she is grateful to Tristate “We were going to see different cardiologists in Lagos. The first one
told my husband that his heart condition was something he could manage all
through his life and my husband was so scared. He said my husband shouldn’t go
for operation. It was just about three weeks ago that he decided on his own and
made up his mind to have an operation. So, the question was ‘where do we go
to?’ until we met these doctors (Tristate Heart Care experts); we told them his
problem and immediately they said we should bring him. We brought him yesterday
and they took him to the theatre; go and look at him now. He is very okay
 Phillipa joyfully led us into the
inner theatre and showed us her husband among other patients. He was being fed
by a nurse. She said the treatment cost her N4.6 million against a hundred and fifty thousand dollars
she would have spent abroad.  “I am happy to tell you that this place is
the best place in Nigeria. I am very happy this is happening in Nigeria I am
going to advertise this place to the world”.
 She joyfully declared.

L-R;
Dr. Michael Sanusi, Dr. Tosin Majekodunmi, Celebrity Blogger Gbenga Dan
Asabe, Professor Kamar Adeleke, Dr. Olukunle Iyanda & Dr. Bola
Oyesola

We Care for Nigerians’ Heart from our
Hearts — Prof Kamar Adeleke
The Second
leg of the visitation which is ‘Encounter with the Specialists,’ started 12pm
with Professor
Kamar
leading his team of Heart Doctors to meet the Press.  In the team are; Dr. Olukunle Iyanda
(COO), Dr. B.O Oyesola (Chief Anaestrologist), Dr. Michael Sanusi (Adult
& Paediatric Cardiothoracic surgeon) and Dr. Tosin Majekodunmi
(Chief of Structural Heart Disease)
Questions
were asked, answers were given.  Answering a question on how best the awareness
on the activities of Tristate can reach thousands of
homes across Nigeria and probably Africa, the CEO, said it is not a bad
thing for Nigerians to know that what they are literarily searching for in Sokoto
(The Seat of the caliphate in Northern Nigeria) is now right in their Sokoto
(Pocket of their dresses according to Yoruba language) “I believe any human being have the right to seek and get help from
wherever they like. I don’t equally think it is government’s right to restrict
anybody from going abroad to get medical help because it is their right. If I
have the money and I trust someone somewhere else, why not? That person should
be able to go and get the necessary help. It cannot be at the expense of the
society”

One of the state-of-the-arts heart equipment inside the Tristate facility with some American Doctors at work

“Why we Spent N2.4 Billion Naira on Tristate”
Professor Kamar unveiled his balance sheet on what
it cost to give Nigeria and Nigerians the best heart treatment center “Yes, we have spent a fortune so far.  We have spent about N2.4 billion naira to get this place done. Majority of the fund went
into infrastructure, equipments and consumables. Staff salary is not included”

Kamar noted that even though the reaction
from Nigerians is growing by the day, the hanky-panky nature of the Nigerian
foreign market sector has affected their investment projection in no smaller
measures “The reason for this investment
shock is because of the epileptic foreign exchange regime in Nigeria which
consistently affected our projection. At the initial stage of putting our
project together, we had it at N158
to $1 dollar but you can imagine
what the dollar is
saying now. Every
facility you see here are imported from advanced countries of the world. So, we
are either importing with Dollar, Pound sterling or Euro”

At TRISTATE, human Doctors do the work while  JESUS the GREAT HEALER does the healing.

What People need to know about us?
So how is Tristate
going to take her service to more Nigerians and reduce the cost spent on health
tourism yearly?  “I think it is our job to first of all
convince our people that we can do it. Once we are convinced that we can do it
then, we have an industry to run. By the time they know that they can get the
same treatment they are getting abroad, here, they will naturally come. We
cannot force them that ‘you must come here’ and I think that is what Tristate stands for. How can we do
that? One, we have to really do it to show them because to see is to believe.
That is why I told you during the tour of facilities that majority of people
that initially had their treatment in our facilities did not have (enough)
money but they were healed. I could even remember the first treatment we gave.
We brought everything from America
only to discover that the valve (Mitra Valve replacement) that we brought was a
wrong one and couldn’t be used. So, I paid from my pocket. I raised $2000 dollars to get a new valve. We
have given out a lot of free treatments like that just to be able to show that
this can be done and they were done successfully
. Last month was when we decided that ‘if we are to make it sustainable,
we cannot continue this way’. That anybody who is coming in now, must pay”
The
Professor of medicine explained why heart treatment is affordably expensive at Tristate
“All the equipments you saw in the
cardiac art labs have a life expectancy of about 7 to 10 years. In about 8 year’s
time, we must replace them. That is not added to the upgrade or the advancement
that is attached to the best and latest technology. If you don’t have the
money, then, you start losing the standards and we don’t want that to happen.
We don’t want to go backward

Professor Kamar Adeleke, CEO, Tristate Heart & Cardiovascular Center with Celebrity Blogger, Gbenga Dan Asabe

Why NHIS is partnering with Tristate…
To add to
her pedigree as Nigeria’s best heart surgery hospital, the National Health
Insurance Scheme
(NHIS) a federal government organization recently
signed a partnership with Tristate. Dr. Kamar confirmed this
when a question was raised on how non-affluent Nigerians can benefit from Tristate
“I can tell you right now, things are
working for us. Because, for the first time in this past month, through the
collaboration with National Health
Insurance Scheme
(NHIS) who came here themselves and saw what we are doing
and they said ‘you know what? We are going to partner with you. We will sponsor
patients for you’. As a matter of fact, they said any kid that is below the age
of 5, they will sponsor them for us. That synergy is not really covering
everything because each of the surgery case is capital intensive if we are to
use the new exchange rate, probably it will go for a minimum rate of N3.5 million (Average Charge) For any
child, NHIS said ‘We will be paying you N1.5 Million’ and we agreed. 

A session of Aortic & Miltra Valve replacement articles for Heart Surgery

We said the relations of such a child (Hole
in the heart Patients, mostly)  will add
up N500, 000 which will give us N2million for such operations which is
still far down what we need to do a thing like that. But again, we have to find
a way to help those without hope. Majority of Nigerians particularly the
children cannot come up with that kind of money. So, what is our response to
that challenge? We established a foundation which we called Tristate Heart Foundation. Tristate
Heart Foundation
has prominent Nigerians on board. The goal of this
foundation is to serve as a palliative concern to those Nigerians who need emergency
heart surgery to get off their predicament and imminent death. I believe since
treatment cannot be hundred percent free, people should contribute something.
The contribution may come from government, it may come from individuals, it may
come from the NGOs and such funds generated through the efforts of the
foundation will help them to earn treatment. We have to make this thing
sustainable; Tristate cannot run
this place at a loss. If we run it at a loss, Nigerians would not be able to
get the desired treatment we are offering. And I believe you guys have a role
to play, you have a role to play because you are the communicator”.
To be continued….
(For Consultation & Facility
Inspection, Visit Tristate Cardiovascular Institute, Babcock University Teaching
Hospital, Ilisan-Remo-Ogun State—Nigeria. Or call +234 -701-875 -7530, +234-807
-401- 2039, +234-807-100-0900 or visit
www.tristatecardiovascular.com)

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