LUTH: An Historical Perspective

The journey from the earliest days to our current position as one of the best

 

The Lagos University Teaching Hospital and the Medical School Complex was enacted by a Cabinet decision made in April of 1961 following recommendations made by the Sir Eric Ashby's commission on Post-Secondary Education in Nigeria.

These Cabinet Committee had Mr. Aja Nwachuckwu (Minister of Education), Dr. T. O.Elias (Attorney-General and Minister of Justice), Mr. Olu Akinfosile (Minister of Communications), Alhaji Shehu Shagari (Minister of Establishments) and Senator (Dr) M.A. Majekodunmi (Minister of State) as members.

The objective was to:

Train at least 100 Doctors annually in Medical Schools in Nigeria from 1975 onwards.

Provide effective and rapid re-organisation of hospitals in Lagos, Surulere, Ibadan, Kaduna and Enugu for teaching clinical medicine.

Establish a full-fledged Medical School in Lagos as soon as possible to make use of the existing medical institutions.

The site on which the Mainland Hospital was built and now occupied by LUTH and CMUL was a ninety-two (92) acre field of farmland. The completed buildings of the new Surulere Mainland Hospital were adapted to suit the needs of a Teaching Hospital/Medical School Complex. The energy and enthusiasm of the Minister of Health enabled this task to be accomplished in record time.

Over the years the Lagos University Teaching Hospital has remained one of the best Teaching/Specialist Hospitals in the country. The hospital is designated a center of excellence in Dentistry. A major breakthrough of the successful conception and delivery of the first authentic test tube (In-Vitro-Fertilization) baby was performed by the duo of Professor Osato Frank Giwa-Osagie and Professor Dapo Ashiru at the Lagos University Teaching Hospital. The hospital also render services in specialized areas of Medicine like Neuro-Surgery, Haemo-dialysis, Cancer treatment, Eye treatment, Urology, Paediatric Surgery, Maternal Health etc.

LUTH is the hospital in Nigeria with the highest concentration of skilled medical and paramedical staff in different areas of medicine. This explains the reason why LUTH is always the focus when foreign countries, oil companies and even highbrow private hospitals in Nigeria are on recruitment drive for manpower. LUTH has pioneered Small Incision Cataract Excision Surgery in Nigeria and has trained over 20 doctors from all over the country in the procedure in the past one year. The hospital has also commenced laparascopic general and gynaecologic surgery which has dramatically reduced the duration of hospitalization after surgery.

LUTH also boasts of a comprehensive Diagnostic Centre and VIP Clinic, state of the art Laboratories, Radiodiagnosis, Radiotherapy and Renal Dialysis facilities. From a humble beginning of 330 beds, LUTH today, is the largest Teaching Hospital in Nigeria with 761 beds and with the College of Medicine of the University of Lagos in the training of hundreds of Medical, Dental, Pharmacy and other Science Students. The hospital has produced thousands of Nurses, Laboratory Technologists, Health Records Officers and para-Medical Cadres. Various members of the Consultant staff have made significant contributions to the advancement of knowledge in major areas of medical science, notably in the separation of conjoined twins and in-vitro fertilization. LUTH today is a multi-billion Naira enterprise with lots of world class equipment in various units, which needs replacement or rehabilitation but are suffering due to LACK OF FUNDS to continue to maintain services at the optimum level of its early years.