Quackery responsible for high mortality, morbidity in Ogun – ANPMP

…Urges govt to establish a taskforce to eradicate the deadly activities within the state

THE Association of General and Private Medical Practitioners of Nigeria (ANPMP), a body of private medical doctors has called on the Ogun State Governor, Prince Dapo Abiodun to intervene in the issue of quacks and proliferation in medical profession in the state.

  Chairman of the Association, Ogun State chapter, Dr Oluwakayode Oyelabi, made the appeal at a news conference in Ota on Thursday. He said that the proliferation of quacks has contributed in no small measure to perinatal outcomes, mortality and morbidity in the state.

   According to Oyelabi, majority of these quacks are fraudulent pretenders who claim to have medical skill, knowledge, qualifications or credentials they do not posses as medical doctor.

   He said, “We have in a situation where auxiliary nurses open medical facilities and embark on doing surgery for innocent patients.

    “And these are health assistants trained informally by doctors and qualified nurses for a period between two to three years to dispense drugs, give injections, check vital signs and carry out elementary nursing jobs.”

   Oyelabi stated that after training they are presented with certificates. “The males are called doctors by the residents and so, they succeed in opening hospitals in the state, of which is contrary to the law of the profesion,” he added.

   The ANPMP chairman averred that hundreds of innocent souls were being killed by the quacks on a daily as a result of their unprofessional activities within the state.

   He urged the state government to take urgent actions by establishing monitoring units to enforce and clamp down on illegal medical facilities in the state.

   “The numbers of victims of quackery in the state cannot be over emphasised as thousands of residents seek quacks on daily basis ignorantly.

   “We have our signs. The Orange signs on signage given by the Ministry of Health in the state, but these signs are not being monitored by the government and these quacks are taking undue advantages of innocent people out there,” Oyelabi said.

   Also speaking at the news conference, the Secretary of Association in the state, Dr Akin Oyejoko, urged residents to be very careful when seeking medical attention at any medical facility in the neighborhood.

   His words: “There is difference between clinics and hospitals. We have a scenerio where those who are neither nurses nor doctors open facilities and call them hospitals. They start operating and performs the functions of medical doctors.”

   “All these activities are illegal and dangerous to the people especially those seeking their services. We are calling Prince Dapo Abiodun, the governor of the state, to be proactive in finding lasting solutions to this menace of quackery in the state,” he added.

   On his part, the Chairman of the Association in Ota, Dr Seye Olufunsho, also appealed to the state government to establish a taskforce to eradicate the deadly quackery activities within the state.

   According to him, Traditional Birth Attendants (TBAs) and Mission Home Attendants are also perpetrating the illegal medical services.

    “This group are locally trained to assist in delivery. They are called ‘Iya Agbebi’, but some of them, by interacting with nurses, now set up infusions, administer injections and even treat ailments with medical and herbal products,” Olufunsho said.

   He stated that mission attendants are faith specialists and prayer warriors who rely on divine intervention in giving care, but churches now have delivery bays where they convince expectant mothers in the church to put to bed.

   “I won’t bother to talk about herbalists, spiritualists and many of who now attend to the medical and natal needs of the people using herbs, concortion, holy water and others to cure illnesses,” he added.

   Olufunsho explained that the quacks were operating as a result of the ineptitude and lack of political will of the government and its agents at all levels to inspect, monitor and enforce the law for the benefit of the citizens.

   “The state government can put end to these preventable deaths. That’s why we are begging the government, both federal and the state, to come to the rescue of the people by clamping down on these illegal medical facilities in the state.

   “There are laws, many laws to make sure that charlatans and quacks never emerge,” he said.

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