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Nigerians Cry Out Over Quackery In Health Sector



………. It’s A Major Cause Of Disabilities, PWDs Lament

Federal and state governments and regulatory agencies have been tasked to adopt more stringent measures to curb medical quackery bedevilling Nigeria’s health sector.

The President of the Association of Medical Laboratory Scientists of Nigeria (AMLSN), Dr. Casimir Ifeanyi, led the call for the Federal Ministry of Health and their counterparts in the 36 states of the federation to intensify the fight against quacks during the anti-corruption radio programme, PUBLIC CONSCIENCE, produced by PRIMORG, on Wednesday in Abuja.

Dr. Ifeanyi, who was reacting to an investigative report by Daily Trust exposing several cases of Nigerians suffering different kinds of deformities as a result of widespread quackery in the health sector, noted that “medical quackery is a major health menace in developing countries and a big illicit business in Nigeria’s health industry.”

He blamed the quackery in Nigeria on the government’s failure to protect citizens, lack of political will to follow through with the legal framework, and failure of regulatory bodies to play their roles effectively.  Adding that “the problem of quackery in the health sector is not the lack of punishment. Rather arresting quacks is a bigger challenge”.

On what government and regulatory agencies must do to stem the tide of quackery, He said,” a whole lot needs to be done by the regulatory agencies and by the Federal Ministry of Health and the State Ministries of Health.

“We need to educate people on signs that an individual is a quack and how to credential the facility or individual so that I can have the confidence to receive service. All that is not being done and what makes us professional is because, inherently, we can decide to regulate. Anytime the systemic regulation is compromised, quacks will have a field day.

“Regulation needs to be more effective and more periodic, and there has got to be public health education.”

The medical practitioner picked holes in the law guiding the operation of the Medical and Dental Council of Nigeria (MDCN), saying, “There’s some lacuna in the powers of MDCN If so far the council cannot walk into a hospital, particularly a private hospital to check the documents of the practicing doctors, then something is wrong because right now they can only do that through the state ministry of health. That is a major lacuna”.

“Our problem is that we have legal frameworks and institutional frameworks for unfortunately, there is the scarcity of political will to give effect to the provisions in our laws, to the policies of the government that we have. The problem we have here is that these regulatory agencies are not doing enough. They are not living up to the mandate that set them up,” Dr Ifeanyi stressed.

On his part, a disability inclusion expert, Chris Obiora, while urging for a stiffer penalty against quackery in the health sector, disclosed that the ugly act has contributed to the number of millions of persons with disabilities in the country, adding that people are getting deformed due to quackery and negligence by health practitioners.

On the reforms needed to address medical quackery, Obiora said, “The Ministry of Health and some of these associations like the Medical Laboratory Association of Nigeria should take it more seriously.

“The government should take the arrest of quacks more seriously because, as far as I’m concerned, they have done more harm than good, so they should have more penalties for such actions, and by that, I mean penalties that will be more serious than what we have already.

Obiora called for awareness of the dangers of quackery in the health profession, stressing that awareness must be created for people to be able to understand and know how to identify quacks, especially in rural areas.

Speaking earlier during the radio programme, Daily Trust reporter Usman Bello Balarabe blamed regulatory failures for the booming quackery business in the health sector. He stated that unlike what is obtainable in other countries, the Nigeria Medical Association (NMA) portal does not show licensed medical practitioners, which can aid in identifying certified doctors

“When compared to their counterparts in other countries like Kenya who have published the lists of every licensed medical practitioner in the country and have a mechanism where confirmation of a medical practitioner’s license is possible and easy, Nigeria Medical Association’s portal doesn’t have the list of licensed medical practitioners, and this encourages quackery, Balarabe stated.

Public Conscience is a syndicated weekly anti-corruption radio program PRIMORG uses to draw government and citizens’ attention to corruption and integrity issues in Nigeria.

The program has the support of the MacArthur Foundation.

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GBV: Foundation builds capacity of community members to check menace



The Tabitha Cumi Foundation (TCF), a non-governmental organisation, has built the capacity of no fewer than 35 members of various communities in Abuja and Nasarawa State to address Gender-Based Violence (GBV).

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the capacity building is part of the Flagship Actions on Girls’ Safety (FLAGS), a GBV prevention and response project.

The Executive Director, TCF, Mrs Tayo Erinle, on Thursday said that the foundation works basically to support survivors.

Erinle, who was represented by the Programme Manager, Mrs Nendirmwa Ohah, explained that the programme which is in the last phase, started in 2021.

According to her, the capacity building is to ensure sustainability of the programme at the community level.

“We were able to select members of the Community Action Committee (CAC) from various communities. We were able to build their capacity during the sensitisation and implementation of the programme.

“The capacity we are building today is a kind of refresher course to remind them of their roles as members of CAC, in addressing and checking GBV in their communities.

“We got massive support from them because they were able to follow up incidences of GBV in their communities. They have created impact in addressing the issue of GBV in the communities..

“Their capacity and knowledge have been built and it is something important. Without knowledge, you will not be able to support anyone. So the knowledge and capacity is a lasting solution to GBV prevention.

“We expect the members of CAC to serve as watchdogs in the communities that we are working in, so that every incidence of GBV is reported to us or other service providers.

“This is because we have linked them up to NAPTIP, Police and Federation of Female Lawyers (FIDA), where they can get free legal services and justice and other relevant agencies,” Erinle said.

Erinle said that the CAC members could now support victims and survivors of GBV, adding that the foundation will continue to assist them and campaign against the menace.

Meanwhile, one of the CAC members from Mpape Community in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Mrs Aisha Saidu, appreciated the foundation for the initiative.

“I am happy because I have gained more knowledge through this programme, especially today’s capacity building; I was able to learn a lot of things that hitherto, I did not know.

“In my community, we have the issue of early marriage. I will like the government to please come to our rescue. Also, organisations should sensitise religious leaders in our community to enable them speak against GBV,” Saidu said.

Another member of CAC from Nyanya Community in FCT, Mr Danladi Iya, said the programme had helped a lot of youths in his community not to engage in GBV and other social vices.

“From what I have learnt today, I will go back to my community and inculcate it on members of my community so that the impact, with support of TCF, will reverberate throughout the entire community.”

NAN reports that during the capacity building, the CAC members were treated to topics like, ‘Roles of CAC Members in Fight Against GBV’, ‘Understanding GBV and How it Affects Girls and Women’.

Other topics are: ‘Ways to Provide Support and Resources for Survivors of GBV and GBV Referral Pathways and Dissemination of TCF toll-free line among others.


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