…..Valedictory To A Silent Achiever
Last year I was at ophthalmology department of Ludwig Maximillian University (LMU) in Munich Germany for three-month glaucoma fellowship. When I made presentation on state of eye care in Nigeria, I showed several photos of machines and procedures from our department, Glaucoma. After the presentation, my trainer, Prof Marckert said” Dr Sadiq, your center is too developed for a developing country”. What has captured the attention of the white man were actually pictures of our Iridex MLT as well as CPC laser, UBM, Octopus visual field analyser, Humphrey Visual Field Analyser, FDT machine and Zeiss slit lamp with mounted anterior segment camera. That time, the hospital did not purchase our SLT machine. Prof Marcket was so impressed when I told him that these were all from one department. For me, the incidence is nothing but validation of how, Dr Mahmoud B Alhassan, the immediate past CMD of National Eye Centre Kaduna, has transformed the hospital.
National Eye Centre Kaduna has five subspecialty departments namely: anterior segment and cornea, glaucoma, oculoplasty, paediatric ophthalmology and strabismus as well as vitreoretina. Under the leadership of Dr Alhassan, all the subspecialty departments were upgraded with full compliments of state- of- the art facilities. Corneal department has excimer laser for photorefractive surgery, specular microscopy and corneal topography machine, vitreoretinal department has two functional OCT/OCT angiography machines, fundal camera, Argon as well as Diode laser machines while paediatric ophthalmology has retcam for retinoblastoma as well as ROP screening and management.
Before Dr Alhassan came on board as CMD, patients who need retinal detachment surgery, phacoemulsification, corneal transplant, customized artificial eye, refractive surgery or glaucoma laser procedures are referred to other hospitals in Lagos, Egypt or India but now all these are possible in our centre. Babies, under general anaesthesia, are refracted with handheld autoref and have their fundus photographed or videotaped by retcam for monitoring purposes. Patients with squits are operated regularly and oculoplasty department produces customized artificial eye. These are high level ophthalmic services that are brought to the door steps of ordinary Nigerians.
The hospital has new optical lab equipped with gadgets that produce customized lens. Special order lenses are produced in 24hrs.This has significant reduced patient waiting time to have their spectacles and also improved the hospital revenue drive. Electronic record system (EMR) has been introduced in eye centre long before federal government mandated all hospitals to do so. Imaging test such as OCT, fundal photography, specular microscopy etc. are being transmitted electronically. This has made follow up evaluation seamless.
The theater complex in the hospital has 6 operating suites but only three were functional when he assumed office as CMD of the institution. During his tenure, the other three suites were renovated and upgraded such that every subspecialty department has its own operating suite. Furthermore, he provided additional top –notch equipment including four operating microscopes, four phacomachines, three PPV machines, one anterior vitrectomy, two anesthesia machines, one giant horizontal autoclave and many more. In an effort to decongest the operating suites, the former CMD leveraged on technology to create seminar room in the theater where all surgeries being performed in the suites are transmitted live so that students/trainee could watch the surgery there without crossing the red line.
Most renowned eye hospitals in the world have fully equipped laboratory component for diagnostic and research purposes. Therefore, the hospital has newly constructed molecular laboratory as well as histopathology lab. Samples for histology were hitherto taken to nearby teaching hospital which usually takes two or weeks before the results are obtained. With the establishment of histopathology in the hospital, results are reported in 48 hrs. The intervention in the lab laid foundation for future career in ocular pathology, ocular genetics and vision science for those interested.
The former CMD went further to delve into the protracted land battle between Mahuta community and the hospital over the center’s occupied land. Sometimes in early 2000s, the perimeter fence of the hospital was brought down and staff farms confiscated by the local community with the supported of external collaborators. Before the CMD left office, he had succeeded in reclaiming the land, re-erected the fence and re-allocated farmlands to interested staff albeit Kaduna state government had excised part of the redundant area.
Photo: Abdullahi Sadiq Mohammed
Definitely, Dr Mahmoud B Alhassan’ name has entered into the annals of history as one of the best CMD the center has ever had. He finished his tenure on 15th November and certainly he would be missed. We wish him success and Allah guidance in his future endeavors.
Dr Abdullahi Sadiq Mohammed