In a significant development for the treatment of stroke patients in Nigeria, a new private sector Emergency Acute Stroke and Rapid Evaluation Centre has opened in Imo State. The centre is a collaboration between three organizations – Regions Stroke and Neuroscience Hospitals, Labrad Diagnostics Center, and Regions Stroke and Epilepsy Foundation – and is equipped with cutting-edge technology from GE HealthCare.
Stroke is a major health crisis in Nigeria and around the world. According to the World Health Organisation, it was the second leading cause of death and disability due to a non-communicable disease in Nigeria in 2019, with the number of new cases estimated at over 100 million globally. A study published in the International Journal of Medical Sciences in 2021 found that the case fatality rate from stroke in Nigeria was as high as 40 per cent within 30 days, with rates ranging from 21 per cent to 40 per cent in different studies conducted in the country between 2004 and 2021.
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Proper treatment in the early stages of stroke is critical to survival and recovery. The new centre is equipped with cutting-edge technology from GE HealthCare, including CT scanners, anesthesiology machines, patient monitors, and ultrasound machines, all capable of rapid assessment and diagnosis. This will be augmented by an in-house laboratory, stroke neurologists, and critical care and stroke nurses trained in advanced stroke care.
The creation of the centre was a collaborative effort, bringing together global organizations to develop the facility’s strategy, design, and operations. The goal of this project was to provide better patient care for stroke victims not only in Nigeria, but also in the West African region and the entire continent.
According to Benjamin Anyanwu, managing director, Regions Stroke and Neuroscience Hospital, the focus of the new centre is on providing high-quality patient care. He noted that the team worked hard to meet the target date for completion, and is confident that the new center will bring much-needed treatment to patients in Nigeria and beyond, reducing the mortality rate from stroke and improving the quality of life for those who have experienced a stroke.
George Uduku, general manager of GE HealthCare West Africa, noted that the new Center will enable critical healthcare services in a remote area, where access to such services may be limited. He also highlighted GE HealthCare’s commitment to bringing care to the patient,noting that the strategy is designed to improve access to care and enable doctors and practitioners to diagnose, treat, and monitor patients effectively.