President Goodluck Jonathan on Thursday commended Kanu Heart Foundation’s plan to establish a Cardiac Hospital in Nigeria.
The president, represented by the Minister of Health, Prof. Onyebuchi Chukwu, at the foundation’s fund raising dinner in Abuja, said the initiative was timely considering the rising cases of cardio-vascular diseases among Nigerians.
“There is no doubt that heart-related diseases are on the increase globally as statistics have shown, especially among children.
“This is a concern that calls for an immediate human action on the part of the society to assist the less privileged to attain quality health care services.
“Kanu Heart Foundation, established 13 years ago, has saved hundreds of lives of less privileged Nigerians that have heart problems requiring surgical intervention,’’ he said.
Jonathan called on Nigerians to support the foundation in every aspect and urged the private sector to invest in the health sector to improve the health of citizens.
He said government had resuscitated the cardiac centres at the University College Hospital, Ibadan, and University of Nigeria Teaching Hospital, Enugu ,with world class facilities for treatment of heart diseases.
The Minister of Sports, Mr Bolaji Abdullahi, also urged Nigerians to support the foundation in the establishment of the cardiac centre.
Also, the Director-General, National Orientation Agency, Mr Mike Omeri, pledged the organisation’s support for Kanu Heart Foundation.
Omeri said NOA would help the foundation facilitate its programme in all the local government areas across the federation.
He said the agency would honour Nwankwo Kanu because of the passion he had for the country.
The Coordinator of Kanu Heart Foundation, Mr Onyebuchi Abia, expressed optimism that the centre would save more lives and check capital flight.
Abia said there were many children on the waiting list for surgery but the challenge had been on funding.