Nigeria Capable of Advancing Cardiovascular Disease Treatment

Experts in the health sector have said that Nigeria has what it takes to advance in the treatment of cardiovascular disease through interventional cardiology.

The experts spoke at the Lagos University Teaching Hospital (LUTH), Idi-Araba, during the fourth International Scientific Conference with the theme: “Interventional Cardiology: Advancing the Frontiers in Cardiovascular Care”.

Interventional cardiology, according to, is “a type of cardiology that uses hollow, flexible tubes (catheters) to access the heart and blood vessels without open-heart surgery. These procedures, called catheterisations, can diagnose and treat a wide range of heart conditions.”

The Chief Medical Director (CMD) of LUTH, Prof Wasiu Adeyemo, said that the federal government had allocated funds to LUTH to have its own cardiac catheterisation laboratory as part of plans to deepen interventional cardiology which was now mostly found in private hospitals.

He assured that LUTH would be going into interventional cardiology within the next one year, saying, “Talking about interventional cardiology, cardiology as a specialty has grown beyond what it used to be, to the extent that you might not be able to differentiate between a cardiologist, interventional cardiologist and a cardiac surgeon.”

Adeyemo noted that with collaboration with the private sector, where there was a record number of interventional cardiologists, the capacity in the public health institutions could be enhanced.

The Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of First Cardiology Consultant, Dr Adeyemi Johnson, in his keynote address, explained that interventional cardiology was a branch of cardiology where rather than doing heart surgery, the procedure went through the blood vessels to fix the problem in the heart.

He said, “It is sort of minimally invasive surgery similar to invasive surgery for cardiologists.”

He noted that Nigeria had also advanced in cardiology treatment with the care commensurate with what was obtainable abroad, adding that the only thing lacking in Nigeria was heart transplantation.

He attributed the challenge to the procedures which he noted were very expensive because most of the devices and consumables used were imported.

The Deputy Chairman of the Medical Advisory Committee (DCMAC) of LUTH, Dr Rufus Ojewola, said, “The message of the conference is that these minimally invasive procedures, whereby you are going to be doing something on the heart without opening it up, are now locally available in some private health centres, and LUTH is trying to set its own up too.”