The Enugu State government has renamed a street in honour of Professor Christiaan Barnard, the late South African cardiac surgeon who on December 3, 1967, performed the world’s first human-to-human heart transplant.
Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi announced the decision when a delegation of the African Association of Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgeons paid him a courtesy visit at the Government House, Enugu.
The honour was a fitting prelude to the association’s meeting holding in Enugu and the choice of the city as venue, according to the minister of state for health, Dr. Osagie Ehanire, stemmed from the fact that it’s home state of the University of Nigeria Teaching Hospital, Enugu, which has gradually become a centre of excellence for renal treatment in Nigeria.
Governor Ugwuanyi further expressed his administration’s desire to support the first kidney transplant surgery in Enugu expected to take place at the UNTH.
“I am glad to inform you also that the Enugu State cutting-edge Medical Diagnostic Center, one of our modest efforts to improve the quality of health care in Enugu State and indeed Southeast Nigeria, will soon be commissioned,” the governor said, adding that the visit offered an opportunity to explore areas of mutual interest and partnership in affordable healthcare provision with South Africa, whose high commissioner to Nigeria had joined the delegation.
Holding in Nigeria for the first time, the meeting drew participants from across Africa.