By Amanullahi Ismail Nasir
There was a time when when we knew what was wrong was wrong but now the wrong seems right to us. Is it as a result of pseudo existence of law or we choose not to pick interest because we haven’t fall victim. Not only drug hawking and medicine sellers issues call for serious concern but glorified stores that turn clinics/hospitals where quacks train quacks and people claiming the names that never belong to them should not be left untouched.
The professionals exhibit their expertise within the scope of practice and licensed by appropriate regulatory body, so also ethical and moral obligation which guide their conducts amongst several features but public turn around to blame professionals after treatments has been sought and irredeemable damages has been done to them by quacks. Many of these quacks you are patronizing are serial killers without firearms.
I was in one government hospital somewhere in southwest in 2017. On that faithful morning, a woman came in with the complain of lower abdominal pain, fever, dysuria (painful urination), foul discharge per vagina and others i can’t recall. On the course of investigation she made the doctor understood that she had had incomplete abortion and the remnant was evacuated by a self acclaimed ‘sonographer’. Sonographer? Ha! I can’t even imagine the nexus between and that made it hard for me to believed and not until after two weeks of evacuation she presented with the above complains. After the investigations she was diagnosed with PID ( pelvic inflammatory disease). The doctor prescribed the necessary drugs and she left and was told to come back later to determine the progress of the treatment. What if something worse has happened before she sought the help of professionals.
It is very nauseating to see quacks parade themselves as nurse/doctor and some of them got employed with same clinics that trained them while others open patent medicine store. Imagine someone without even the basic knowledge of anatomy, physiology, biochemistry and pharmacology prescribes drugs, administer injection, infusion, transfusion and do all such of filthy things you might never imagine. Yes! It is bad as that. Infact you will be gobsmacked when you get to some places.
Quackery is one contributory factor to drug abuse menace and has made the fighting against it seems fruitless despite regulations on the use of habit-forming drugs and which is why anybody can enter patent medicine store and ask for tablets of tramol without being questioned.
Public sometimes don’t help the matter as some can’t even differentiate between who the nurse, doctor or pharmacist is even amongst the literates despite the distinctions and they thinks anybody that wear lab coat or white cloth is either a nurse/doctor even lab security wear lab coat here so don’t be deceived.
Without any form of exaggeration I hope quacks knows that nurses and doctors that they love to claim need to spend at least 7 and 8 years respectively as far as university education is concerned to obtain their first degrees with a lot of money, hardworking, dedication, prayer, and resilience. So if medical practice is vocational why would anyone risk all these to go attend medical school, the shortcut would have been a better option.
The professionals training quacks are even the worse despite the rigorous training they went through but let their selfishness leads them. Anybody who train quacks has violate the meaning of professional so the person doesn’t deserve to be call one.
The government should try more to increase health budget, increase the hospitals workforce, absorb jobless professionals into the system and make the healthcare accessible at the grassroot level by improving and establishing more primary health centres.
The regulating bodies (Nursing and Midwifery Council of Nigeria), federal and state ministries of health, state health facility monitoring and accreditation agency, professional associations (National Association of Nigeria Nurses and Midwives) and others should not relent either through constant monitoring and sanction of anybody who go against the standard even if its to employ the service of law enforcement agencies. If you ask me I will say no one fit in the position to curb this quackery menace than you. There is need for drastic overhaul in the system even if the lady with lamp is alive today she wouldn’t have keep quite under her watchful eyes as things downturns.
It is understood that there is poverty in this country and it has overtook India in the extreme poverty ranking but people needs to beware of hospital they attend so that salt won’t be added to their injury and at the end you won’t spend multiple of what you didn’t plan to. What will be the story if you are being treated of malaria and you end up having kidney failure. Please take caution!
If you are not a victim today any of your relatives may be. So don’t turn deaf hear to this. The earlier we tackle quackery together the better for us.
Amanullahi Ismail Nasir writes from Sokoto.