Israel has donated medical equipment to Nigeria with a view to boosting health care services at the Jos University Teaching Hospital (JUTH).
Charge d’Affaires of the Embassy of Israel in Nigeria, Mr Yotam Kreiman, who presented the equipment in Abuja, said the donation was timely, in view of ongoing efforts to contain the spread of the Coronavirus pandemic (COVID-19).
Some of the medical equipment donated are ultrasound machines, tractor and boat for spinal surgery operations.
Yotam disclosed that the donation was a joint effort of three well-wishers – the Israeli government; Prof. Shlomi Constantini, Director, Gilbert International Neurofibromatosis Centre; and Ichilov Hospital in Tel-Aviv aimed at supporting Dr Bot Gyang, who was trained in Israel.
“It is different machines that will be used here in Nigeria, to help Nigerian doctors with very skillful hands at JUTH, together with Dr Gyang.
“Gyang was actually trained in Israel for more than four years with Prof. Costantini; we learnt of his great expertise and wonderful job, on what he is doing here to save lives.
“The hospital was able to get the machinery here; it was a challenge to bring it; we sought the cooperation of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Israel.
“We were able to ship it here through diplomatic mail and pass it to the university.
“Now that we are able to transfer materials in this manner through this route, we are hoping to see more Israeli hospitals take advantage of it to transfer whatever they can to hospitals in Nigeria,” he said.
He said more would be done in the medical field to deepen relations between both countries.
Receiving the items, Prof. Edmund Banwat, the Chief Medical Director of JUTH, expressed appreciation to the Israeli embassy, saying it would address the lack of adequate surgery equipment at the hospital.
Banwat, who was represented by Dr Pokop Bupwatda, Chairman, Medical Advisory Committee, and Director of Clinical Services at JUTH, said the equipment would help improve health care delivery in the country.
“The medical equipment will improve patient care; Dr Bot who trained in Israel as a neurosurgeon needs some of these equipment to work and perform surgeries in Nigeria.
“So it is going to benefit the patients that are needing neurosurgery interventions.
“It (the ultrasound machine) is going to help guide operations on neurosurgery patients, to see where the tumor is or the problem is, and to intervene.
“So, these will greatly help in patient-care and not just that, it is going to help in training medical students and in training postgraduate doctors, who are interested in neurosurgery,” Banwat said.
In his remarks, Gyang expressed appreciation to Israel, saying the items donated would go a long way toward helping the hospital improve the level of care for neurosurgery patients.
“When you see people have accidents, children born with congenital malformations, big brains, big heads, and something in their back, such cannot be easily taken care of.
“When you see children with brain tumors and some of these things, we can be of help to them.
“It motivates us to come and help the team at home, and to encourage younger ones,” Gyang said.
He urged Nigerians living abroad to always render support to the health care sector in their fatherland to help develop healthcare.
Constantini, a full clinical professor at Tel Aviv University, is the Head of Department of Pediatric Neurosurgery at Dana Children’s Hospital, Tel Aviv Medical Center, in Israel.