In a bid to prevent Medical Tourism, Private initiatives in Nigeria’s health sector have contributed to the reduction of the number of Nigerians traveling abroad for solutions for their medical problems. One of such hospitals is Thelish Eye Centre, Kaduna, which was jointly founded with the India-based Dr. Agarwal’s Eye Institute, in February, 2012.
Since the centre commenced operations six years ago, many people from across the country have gone there to seek for solutions to various eye problems, some of which they would have had to travel abroad for treatment. Equipped with multi-million naira equipment, the latest technology in the industry and top rated personnel from India, the centre has been able to carve a niche for itself as one of the leading eye hospitals in the country.
According to the Director of the centre, Dr. Ime Etuk, it has provided the opportunity for Nigerians to stay in their country and receive world class medical treatment, which they hitherto sought abroad, thereby reducing the cost of traveling and medical expenses. Equipped with the latest technologies, the centre which is manned by expatriates has blazed the trail in breakthroughs in various forms of eye surgeries in Nigeria. One of such exploits was the recent successful surgery on a nine months old baby, who underwent corneal transplant.
The transplant was done by a 27 years old surgeon, Dr. Smith M. Bavariya, the youngest surgeon to have carried out corneal transplant in the whole of Africa. He said, “I am the only surgeon who has been doing the transplant throughout Africa, especially that small baby, before now, patients were sent to India for the transplant”.