A cardiologist has returned to hospital following a charity mission to Nigeria to fit disadvantaged patients with life-saving pacemakers.

Dr Peysh Patel, a consultant cardiologist at the Droitwich Spa Hospital, spent a week in Lagos from October 29 to November 5, in affiliation with Arrhythmia Alliance-Pace4Life (AA-P4L). 

The charity mission aimed to provide crucial access to pacemakers for patients facing tough living conditions.



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Pacemakers, small devices sending electrical pulses to regulate the heartbeat, are essential for those suffering from bradyarrhythmia, a condition causing the heart to beat too slowly, potentially leading to dizziness and blackouts.

Dr Patel said: "Planning for the mission took six months and a lot of work went into liaising with the local cardiologists in Lagos, to understand their expertise and provisions."

Linking with Nigerian medical colleagues was important, he said, in ensuring the work was effective.

After careful considerations with Nigerian consultants about the right pacemakers for patients, Dr Patel and fellow doctors from the UK and Germany flew to Lagos.

A figure in cardiology for over a decade, Dr Patel expressed support for AA-P4L’s work.

He said: "AA-P4L do incredible work in some of the most challenging healthcare systems in the world."

New data shows that an alarming two and a half million people perish annually due to heart-related health disparities, which Dr Patel believes could be avoided with better access to pacemakers.

In Nigeria, the pacemaker implantation rate is 200 times below UK's.

Patients may wait up to 18 months for an implant, resulting in a 50 per cent mortality rate during the wait.

Dr Patel said: "This is why our work is so important as it really is a matter of life and death."

He added: "It was exciting and overwhelming in equal measure.

"This was our first mission to Nigeria, and it is a truly wonderful country with incredible people."

Overall, the team was successful installing sixteen pacemakers during the October mission.

Dr Patel is keen on organising a similar mission in 2024, and hopes to inspire others to join him later this year.