Wednesday, July 06, 2016

MEDICAL PROFESSION AND PROFESSIONALS: THE GOOD, THE BAD, THE UGLY

From time immemorial, healthcare officers are known to command a lot of respect. This, from all indications, does not suggest itself to be a misplaced attitude from people if one considers the essential nature of services they render to humanity daily.

It would also not be an exaggeration to say many consider them to be next line to God purely out of importance people attached to the profession.

This, they’ve however, put in its proper perspectives themselves with the catch phrase: ‘We care; God heals.’

As far as the good side of the profession goes, it is on record that practitioners past and present have made giant strides comparable only to scaling the Everest. They’ve made discoveries and breakthroughs which have helped in reducing or eradicating grisly incidences of diseases, deaths and pains accompanying such.   

A case in point is the recent Ebola pandemic that ravaged the West African sub-region.

But like everything that is human driven, it is definitely not without its flip sides.

Though there is a truckload of allegations being level against medical professionals, it would suffice here to mention a few.

Both in times past and present, we’ve seen situations whereby medical officers administer injection where prescription drugs would’ve been a better option thereby reducing the patients to complete medical wrecks.

Similarly, we’ve also read and heard bizarre stories of operation theater blunders in which surgical instruments were said to have been forgotten in the bellies of unfortunate in-patients.

This is one grievous act of professional neglect which has attracted legal tussles and heavy sanctions from appropriate regulatory authorities in countries where recorded.   

Reading from an online news channel recently, RT to be precise, I wasn’t quite surprised medical errors was listed as number three killer of people in United State of all countries.

But if this could occur in a country widely acclaimed as the bastion of scientific and professional standards, I wonder what hope there is for third world countries which Nigeria belongs. More so because reliable statistics and data in the field of discuss are as faint as non-existent which makes it somewhat preposterous to place her medical sub-sector in similar morbidity rating.

From shared experiences, nevertheless, I will insist that Nigeria’s healthcare delivery system is as awash with impersonating charlatans, inter-disciplinary encroachments just as it boast impressive array of specialists of international repute.

While those in the former category are doing their worst, the later are doing their best to salvage it.

This is evident in our general hospitals which on regular basis have to deal with almost hopeless medical conditions referred from many ill-equipped inner-city private hospitals and their incompetent staffs.

As such the medical staffs in these facilities are always under tremendous pressure to deliver.

“A case of one monstrous slave being the reason we rile other diligent ones.”

Sometime it’s like the system is completely out of control like anything and everything Nigerian. Because, these days, everywhere you turn in cities nationwide, it is not out of place to see skimpily dressed young girls purportedly apprenticed to some nameless neighbourhood medical facilities.

And sooner than you think, they’re graduated as auxiliary nurses and the likes. A people in my candid estimations not fit to be worthy emissaries of this noble profession on the ground of insufficient training and industrial work experience.

Yet, they’re seen brazenly shuttling from house to house administering treatments on the sick, and  taking delivery of newborns in some dinghy rooms unfit for human habitation much more serving as medical out posts. From what I’ve seen of them at close up, they’re largely not helping the system but destroying it.

In fact, I call them ‘merchants of death’ on the loose.

As if these anomalies are not enough, there are other diabolical dimensions to the whole scenario namely that some of our hospitals have infamously become baby factories as widely reported by various media outlets in recent years.

There is also another which has not been well reported in the media but has been there for a very long time now. 

And it involves sharp practices which occur around the labour room.

I remembered that my father when he was alive used to warn about how things could go awry for a newborn right from the point of birth if certain things are taking for granted by parents. And he talked particularly of the ‘placenta’ and how it must be handled. Because to him, desperate medical officials contracted to ritualists can manipulate things in favour of their paymasters.              

How?

Sometimes they offer to help dispose-off it which they may never do. Instead, all they do is pass it on to these unscrupulous elements. Secondly, even if parents insist they want to have it they can still be out smarted by cleverly substituting it with raw meat. Since most parents don’t think it is hygienically ideal to double-check if what they are given to them is actually the real thing.

This he believed will negatively impact on the baby’s destiny when he or she becomes adult.

Perhaps this is one of the reasons we have a lot of never-do-well in our society. I might be wrong. After all there is a popular saying that there exists a thin-line between people who are victims of government obnoxious policies and witches and wizards. But the scenario I’ve just painted is real. Don’t forget Nigeria is a country where unthinkable happens. No deliberate attempt is made here to slight the country.

And parents can definitely guide against these evil manipulations.

I think more than ever before, it is by been more detailed in their observation concerning happenings in and around the labour room as the destiny of their new babies should be of paramount interest to them.

A word they say is enough for the wise. 



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