Friday, 22 July 2016

Meet ex-CBN Governor, Sanusi’s son who is a Heart Surgeon


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Dr. Michael Sanusi to Asabeafrika...'My Dad is a very balanced individual'

Dr.  Michael Sanusi is an adult and Paediatric Surgeon and a Fellow of the American College of Surgeons as well as the West African College of Surgeons. He obtained his MD in 1990 from University of Ibadan, Nigeria. He relocated to the USA for his surgical training and became a general Surgeon in 1999, gradating at the top of his surgery residency class with honors from the UCLA/Drew University Medical Center in Los Angeles, scoring in the top 98% percentile in the US General Surgery Board Examinations. Dr. Sanusi worked as a General Surgeon in the United States of America and Nigeria before returning to train as an adult and Paediatric Cardiac Surgeon at State University of New York/Maimonides Medical Center and Emory University/Children Healthcare of Atlanta. He is a US board certified in General and Thoracic Surgery.
Dr. Michael Sanusi is the first born of ex-Central Bank of Nigeria Governor and veteran economist, Mr. Joseph Sanusi. He is presently one of the 5 best heart surgery experts who work at the Nigeria’s most equiped Heart Surgery & Cardiovascular Hospital, Tristate Heart & Vascular Center at Backcock University, Ilisan-Remo, Ogun state—South West Nigeria. Your Africa’s Number1 Celebrity Encounter blog, Asabeafrika recently cornered him at his office in Ilisan during a facility tour of Tristate Heart & Vacular Center (THVC)
Enjoy the excerpts.
Dr. Michael Sanusi's boss, Professor Kamar Adeleke, CEO, Tristate Heart & Vascular Center (THVC)

Can you tell me a bit about you sir?
My name is Doctor Michael Sanusi. I am a Paedratic & Adult Cardiothoracic Surgeon and I deal with much of vascular and heart surgery as well.
What do you like about your job?
Well, I like the fact that I help people to gain back their hope to live it all over again. The mere fact that people come into the theatre in near death condition and I am opportune to be one of those who can offer help through my practice gives me enough joy. I enjoy what is involved because it takes a lot of planning and a lot of structural adjustment and finally a good work.
How many years have you been practicing?
I have been a heart surgeon since 2006. 

“The mere fact that people come into the theatre in near death condition and I am opportune to be one of those who can offer help through my practice gives me enough joy”

Dr. Michael Sanusi with a team of Nigeria's Media Executives & his Colleagues at Tristate Hearts & Vascular Center

Where did you get your knowledge, sir?
I went to secondary school at King’s College, Lagos. I went to Medical School in UI (University of Ibadan Teaching Hospital). I did General Surgery at  Martin Luther King/Druw UCLA Medical Center in Los Angelles. I studied Cardiac Surgery at the State University of Brooklyn in New York  and Paediatric Cardiac Surgery at Emory University in Atlanta Georgia, USA.
What about work experience?
I started practice in 2006 and I first worked at Emory University in Atlanta Georgia and later got a job with University of California at San Francisco before I was invited to work with Lagos State University Teaching Hospital in 2009. I worked with LASUTH until 2014 when I joined Tristate. It has really been a wonderful and exciting decade of practice.

“I am intrigued by the heart. I am intrigued by how it works. I am intrigued by the fact that the heart can be harmed today and the delicacy of having to repair it. The heart is a very, very delicate part of the human body”

Dr. Michael Sanusi to Asabeafrika...'My Job is to treat the Heart'

Really, when you wake up every morning and you remember you have one or two hearts to treat, how do you feel?
What I enjoy about the job is one, I like helping people to restore health to their hearts. I am intrigued by the heart. I am intrigued by how it works. I am intrigued by the fact that the heart can be harmed today and the delicacy of having to repair it. The heart is a very, very delicate part of the human body. It is the most precious part after the brain and if you are to really enjoy the use of the brain, you must also take cognizance of the fact that the heart is precious. My job is to repair the heart. My job is to give the heart the benefit of functioning well and perfect. My job is to treat a sick heart. It is the best job in the world and that is what we do at TRISTATE. We are the heart doctors. We treat people’s hearts from our heart.
Your dad the former CBN Governor, Mr. Jacob Sanusi was a great economist. Why did you decide to choose health to dad’s Profession?
Immediately I got into school I started studying medicine. I used to do holiday jobs when I was in secondary school and I felt that working in a bank or in an office was too cold and too official. I wanted something that would keep me on my foot, busy and I found that in medicine. I never intended to sit in one room and remain on same spot from 8-5. I wanted something that would challenge my intellect, something that will challenge my creativity and that I happily found in medicine. For dad, he saw nothing wrong in my decision to study medicine. I am fulfilled.

Dr. Michael Sanusi in a group photograph with Asabeafrika's Gbenga Dan Asabe, Dr. Tosin Majekodunmi, Professor Kamar Adeleke, Dr. Olukunle Iyanda and Dr. Bola Oyesola

Are you dad’s scion?
Yes, I am.
How will you describe him as a person? Did he ever spank you as a child?
My dad is well balanced. He could be gentle with you and he could as well be turned other way round depending on how good you are willing to collaborate with him. Dad appreciated manners, good discipline and intelligence. Just give him your corporation in terms of seriousness and dad will be a diplomat but if you are not going to be serious with studies, then, you get the other side of him. Dad is a balanced person, he is not too gentle to his children that you will get spoilt and become a liability but he is diplomatic enough to support your drive for diligence, hard work and good manners. Dad cherished good manners. 

“In the long term, government should promote and establish a health insurance scheme for the citizen. Government should ensure that every single Nigerian has medical insurance for both the good and bad days. For government to achieve this there must be a legislation to back it up”.

What are those things he taught you that are today timeless and ingrained in you?
He taught us the fear of God honesty and compassion. Like I said dad cherished hard work. You can’t stay around him without a sense of duty. You must be serious. You must be determined for success.
What about mum?
My mum Mrs. Abigail Sanusi is a retired teacher. She used to work with Lagos State Government under the Ministry of Education. She is a very humble and disciplined woman. She taught us ethics.
How many of you in the family?
We have 5 of us, two men and three women. I am the first born.
Are you married?
Yes, I have a happy family with four lovely girls. I am proud of my kids.
Do you have hobbies?
Not at all; I used to play squash but it has been over 4 years I played squash last. I am busy with my job and my job has actually taken the place of my hobby.
Which country is your favorite holiday spot?
That will be USA. 

Dr. Michael Sanus (L)i & Colleagues, Dr. Tosin Majekodunmi, Professor Kamar Adeleke, Dr. Olukunle Iyanda and Dr. Bola Oyesola

As a Paedratic and Adult Cardiothoracic surgeon who studied and worked in the USA, how do you think Nigerian Government can help solve the problem of cardiovascular death which is now rampant among the elites?
I think in the short term Government both at state, local government and national level could help to sponsor patients who are victims of heart illness. Government can provide sponsorship for patients. In the long term, government should promote and establish a health insurance scheme for the citizen. Government should ensure that every single Nigerian has medical insurance for both the good and bad days. For government to achieve this there must be a legislation to back it up. We need a law from the National Assembly to enforce every Nigerian to either pay N1000, N500 or N250 every month into a certain health security account. This pool of fund will serve as security for those who need emergency heart surgery or any other debilitating situation that warrants such amount of money. Out of 100% of Nigerians, 5% will always be sick; this insurance will serve as emergency fund. Of course, everyone must pay a certain amount at the end of every month. Both the ill and the healthy ones so that when a taxi cab owner who has no huge savings in any bank is ill and need a heart surgery we can always take from this pool of funds and take care of the person. We have situations where even high grade officers like Professors are ill and they need emergency treatment and there is no funds to prosecute the treatment and in most cases, this people die. In all advanced countries of the world, health insurance policy is an integral part of social engineering.  Not all the time you will expect the population to be ill but for the few who are ill from time to time, a strong health tax policy will help them. A national health insurance policy will serve as a lasting panacea. Now, I learnt government is trying to sponsor kids from 0 to 5 years, I mean kids with hole in the heart, but we can do pretty more than that. All we need in Nigeria is a national health insurance scheme and the rest will be history.

(For Consultation with Dr. Michael Sanusi & his team, Visit Tristate Cardiovascular Institute, Babcock University Teaching Hospital, Ilisan-Remo-Ogun State—Nigeria. Or call: +234 -701-875 -7530, +234-807 -401- 2039, +234-807-100-0900. Or simply visit www.tristatecardiovascular.com)

Gbenga Dan Asabe

Africa's Number One Celebrity Encounter Blog

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