6th December, 2010
The Kanu Nwankwo Heart Foundation (KHF), a charity organisation established byÂ Nigerian International and English Premier League Football striker, Nwankwo Kanu,Â founded in 2000, to help underprivileged African children and young adults livingÂ with different heart ailments in Nigeria and other African countries, obtain cardiacÂ surgical operations, is set to arrange treatment for some children and adults withÂ heart problems.
At the screening of patients recently at the Eko Hospital, Ikeja Lagos, over 30Â patients were tested and recommended for surgery. According to the coordinator ofÂ the foundation, Mr. Onyebuchi Abia, their treatment would be facilitated at theÂ Salam Centre for Cardiac Surgery, Khartoum, Sudan.
Abia said the surgery would be carried out on the patients free-of-charge inÂ partnership with an NGO Emergency, Italy, as both are in a partnership arrangementÂ where 50 patients from the Kanu Heart Foundation will receive free open heartÂ surgery every year in the Salam Centre for Cardiac Surgery, owned by Emergency.
Abia said they are also partnership with the management of Eko Hospital, and that isÂ where all the tests are conducted. He commended the hospital, saying: â€œas a privateÂ entity, Eko Hospital has been very supportive as it has reduced drastically to 50Â per cent the cost of testing, treatment and drugs for the patients while KHF paysÂ the other 50 per cent. We are all working towards the same goal: to save lives.â€
He said children below the age of 14 would be treated free of charge, while theirÂ accommodation, feeding and air ticket would be provided by KHF, but patients aboveÂ 14 will have to buy their own tickets, though they would also be treated free ofÂ charge and provided with feeding and accommodation.
Onyebuchi disclosed that the biggest challenge is finance as it costs aboutÂ N3million to take care of one patient, and one way they have been tackling theÂ heart-related problems is by organising heart summits in all the states of theÂ federation. The aim is to discover patients and also bring doctors together toÂ explain to people the causes and what they can do to avoid it. In this regard, weÂ are very grateful to the Nigeria media for its support,” he added.