(1 February 1974: operation performed, Nsukka University Teaching Hospital, Enuugwu, Biafra)
FIRST OPEN heart-surgery in Biafra/southwestcentral Africa was performed at the Nsukka University Teaching Hospital, Enuugwu, Biafra, on 1 February 1974 – four years and just over a month to the day after the formal end of phase-III (beginning of phase-IV) of the 44-month long Igbo genocide, foundational genocide of post-(European)conquest Africa, perpetrated by Nigeria and its suzerain state Britain in which 3.1 million Igbo or 25 per cent of this nation’s population were murdered.
The surgeons who worked on the surgery included CH Anyanwu, DC Nwafor, FA Udekwu and M Yacoub. In the subsequent 26 years, i.e., by 2000, a total of 102 (one hundred and two) open heart-surgeries were carried out at the Enuugwu centre.
Forty-three years since the first surgery, Africa and the rest of the world cannot wait for the triumph of the Biafra freedom movement to witness the expansion of the stretch of such creative and transformational energy by Biafrans – an African people building and reconstructing on their land and on their own terms; definitely not an engagement and process seen in Africa for ages... Here, it is indeed “Morning Yet On Creation Day” as the Father of African Literature reminds us.
Twitter @HerbertEkweEkwe(Thelonious Monk Quintet, “Brilliant corners” – personnel: Monk, piano; Ernie Henry, alto saxophone; Sonny Rollins, tenor saxophone; Oscar Pettiford, bass; Max Roach, drums; recorded: Riverside studio, New York, US, 15 October 1956)