“I was feeling ill the previous night; in the morning, my brothers took me to a couple of hospitals before we settled for Nizamiye. I was conscious, but I didn’t know something bigger and deadlier was on the way.”
Those were the words of Ms. Hadiza Abubakar, a patient who successfully underwent a coronary artery bypass grafting (CABG) surgery after suffering a heart attack.
Ms. Hadiza made those remarks at the 3rd-anniversary celebration of Nizamiye hospital in Abuja. After series of testimonies from satisfied and grateful patients, one could easily place why the hospital is indeed adjudged as one of the best in Nigeria.
When in 2014, former President Goodluck Jonathan led a delegation of ministers, technocrats, and diplomats to commission the hospital. He said: “this is a significant investment in the health sector.” And true to those words, the significance of the Nizamiye hospital in the health space in Nigeria cannot be overemphasized regarding the quality of services rendered in the past three years.
This is indeed commendable, and one wonders why Nigerians still travel abroad for medical treatment. Little wonder why a renowned journalist, writer, and publisher Mr. Simon Kolawole wrote about the hospital in his back page column in Thisday newspaper titled “Left with a broken heart.”
“When I saw the facilities at Nizamiye, the neatness, the staff attitude and the general ambiance, the first thing I told my friend, Joshua, was: but this is on Nigerian soil, isn’t it? If we can have this kind of hospital in Abuja, not in Istanbul or Ankara, then the Nigerian soil is not resistant to the right things. Some facilities you will never find at several federal medical centers or teaching hospitals are there — MRI and 4D Ultrasound machines. I don’t know anything about medicine, but I know a hospitable medical facility when I see one.”
Mr. Kolawole wrote after he toured the hospital facility. Just like he was impressed, so can be said of all that has visited the Nizamiye hospital. The story has been that Nigerians do not need to travel aboard for medical treatment with such facility in Nigeria. This much was corroborated by the minister of state for health, Dr. Osagie Ehanire at the anniversary celebration. “The country cannot continue to fund overseas medical care when there are better-equipped hospitals like Nizamiye in Nigeria.”
The list of dignitaries that joined the management and staff of Nizamiye in the celebrations was indeed a long one. There were members of the diplomatic community, ministers, former ministers, clergies, heads of departments and agencies, etc. It was indeed a testament to the impact of the Nizamiye hospital since inception in 2014.
However, the management of the hospital led by Dr. Huseyin Aka, the medical director informed the audience that the journey has been quite tough, but through persistence and dedication, the hospital has continued to provide exceptional services to patients.
“We have been able to carry out over 15,000 medical surgeries; we have also performed 285 angiographies, 57 emergency balloon, 95 stent procedures, and 12 open heart surgeries in the space of three years. And this would not have been possible without the support of our highly dedicated Turkish and Nigerian staff, and also the Nigerian government through the relevant ministries and agencies for being such an excellent host” he said in an emotional voice.
The Nizamiye hospital is not just an elegant building. It is also a smart hospital with smart professionals manning the various departments ranging from general medicine, urology, neurosurgery, open heart surgery, and others too numerous to mention. It also has four hi-tech operating theaters, one cath-lab; four-bed adult Intensive Care Unit (ICU), and four incubators for Neonatal ICU, fully functional.
“Our open heart surgery clinic is headed by a renowned cardiovascular surgeon with tremendous experience in Turkey and he is based in Abuja on a full-time basis” says Dr. Aka. “The case of Ms. Hadiza is one out of the 12 open heart surgeries we have successfully carried out, and she is a living testimony. “He continued.
Also present at the occasion was Mrs. Hadiza Nazeeph with her daughter Aisha who was the cynosure of all present. The story of baby Aisha Nazeeph evoked emotions in the gathering. She weighed less than 1kg at 28 weeks, and her mother’s blood pressure was high. For her father, Mr. Mohammed Nazeeph, it was a tough decision between saving the life of his wife and the baby. “We went to some of the best hospitals in Kaduna and Abuja, but help wasn’t near sight. My concern was for the safety of my wife. I wanted my wife alive and repeatedly made calls for the pregnancy to be aborted” he stated.
“On getting to Nizamiye, we were astonished by the level of responsiveness. About eight people were attending to her at the same time. In less than 30 minutes, they assured me that all would be well. And it was so.”
“Baby Aisha weighed 750 grams on delivery at 28 weeks; she was tiny that I feared for her. The doctors continually reassured me that she would be okay. And today, she is growing healthy and strong. I can’t thank the Nizamiye hospital enough” Mrs. Nazeeph said in a low tone.
The Nizamiye hospital is the brainchild of the First Surat group of companies, a private company of Turkish and Nigerian investors with interest in education and health. It is also has in its portfolio the Nigerian Tulip International Colleges (NTIC) and the Nile University.
Dr. Aliyu Modobbo, under whose tenure as minister of FCT, the Nizamiye hospital project started said: “Today, I am not only amazed but satisfied with the tertiary health facility established by the First Surat group, so I have no regret whatsoever for allocating land for Direct Foreign Investment.”
As part of its Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) activities, the hospital has carried out major health interventions in rural communities in the FCT. During the week the doctors and nurses work at the hospital. At the weekend, they put on their boots and visit the rural and difficult to reach areas offering medical services to indigent people. The story of Nizamiye hospital in three years is still counting.