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Full Text: Communique By Medical And Dental Consultants’Association Of Nigeria

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COMMUNIQUE ISSUED AT THE END OF THE NATIONAL EXECUTIVE COUNCIL (NEC) MEETING OF THE MEDICAL AND DENTAL CONSULTANTS’ ASSOCIATION OF NIGERIA (MDCAN) HELD FROM 7TH TO 11TH SEPTEMBER, 2022, AT AKIN DEKO AUDITORIUM, UNIVERSITY OF BENIN (UNIBEN), UGBOWO CAMPUS, BENIN CITY AND BEST WESTERN HOMEVILLE PLUS HOTEL, BENIN CITY, EDO STATE, NIGERIA.

PREAMBLE

The National Executive Council (NEC) meeting of the Medical and Dental Consultants’ Association of Nigeria (MDCAN) was held at Akin Deko Auditorium, University of Benin, Ugbowo Campus and Best Western Homeville Plus Hotel, both in Benin City, Edo State, Nigeria from Wednesday, 7th September to Sunday 11th September, 2022. The theme of the meeting was “Needed Entrepreneurial Skills in Medical and Dental Practice in Nigeria to Reverse Brain Drain and Outward Medical Tourism”.

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The opening ceremony was chaired by Prof. Lilian Imuetinyan Salami, Vice Chancellor (VC), University of Benin. The Chief Host was the Chief Medical Director (CMD) of University of Benin Teaching Hospital (UBTH), Benin City, Prof. Darlington Obaseki. The Special Guest of Honour was the Executive Governor of Edo State, His Excellency, Mr Godwin Obaseki, ably represented by the Edo State Honourable Commissioner for Health, Prof. Obehi Akoria. The Theme Speaker was Dr. Lucky Okparaynote, the CMD of Capital Hills Hospital, Warri, Delta State.

The meeting was commenced with courtesy visits to the CMD of UBTH; the VC of UNIBEN; the Honorable Commisioner for Health; the Medical Director Edo State Specialist Hospital, Prof. I. Sunday Adeoye; two of the founding fathers and Past Presidents of MDCAN, Prof. Phillip Abiodun and Emeritus Prof. Sir Augustine A.E. Orhue.

OBSERVATIONS.

i. There is festering crisis in almost every sector of the economy, causing untold hardships to the citizenry. Efforts by the Government have been inadequate in addressing these problems.

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ii. Problems in the health sector remain largely unresolved by the Government, with health care workers leaving the shores of the country in droves to more secured climes with better conditions of service.

READ ALSO: MDCAN To Govt: Make Work Environment More Conducive For Health Workers

iii. The problems encountered by Medical graduates seeking placement for housemanship persists.

iv. The failure of the relevant Government agencies to act promptly on the welfare issues concerning our members might engender disruption of services in secondary and tertiary health institutions across the country, by their failure to implement the payment of the approved Hazard Allowance; pay outstanding arrears occasioned by skipping; extend the retirement age of health workers to limit ongoing massive brain drain in the health sector; correct the shortfall in the salaries of honorary consultants who are clinical lecturers in the Universities, etc . The Government has refused to address these despite repeated negotiations and pledge to resolve these issues.

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v. There is drastic shortage in medical manpower, cutting across all levels and cadres of health professionals, with various health workers failing to accept positions advertised by most of the Government hospitals. Furthermore, some Tertiary Health institutions lack Heads of Department in some clinical Departments due to this on-going massive brain drain in the health sector. This shortage in healthcare manpower has impacted negatively on the quality of healthcare services offered to the citizens. This has also negatively impacted on the well being of the remaining healthcare workers, who often suffer from burnout.

vi. Medical entrepreneurship is a gold deposit yet to be substantially mined by the stakeholders in Nigeria. Tapping into this great opportunity has the potential to reverse the Brain Drain and attract inward Brain Gain.

vii. The progressive and dynamic leadership geared towards continuous improvement of standard of care, provision of quaternary healthcare services and improved welfare of staff, demonstrated by the University of Benin Teaching Hospital (UBTH) Management team headed by the CMD, Prof. Darlington Obaseki is commendable

viii. The increased tax deductions from the salaries of MDCAN members is adding to the the push factors driving brain drain. ix. The persistent failure of payment of salaries of our members in Abia State Teaching Hospital for about two years, despite several appeals to the Government of Abia State.

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x. The futile effort by the allied health Professionals to encroach into the core areas of medicine, through attempts to establish Residency Programmes in purported ‘clinical aspects’ of the allied professions persists

xi. There was an attempt to cause confusion in our Tertiary Health Institutions through an obnoxious bill seeking to amend the Teaching Hospital Act.

xii. The lingering strike action by the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) portends ominous signs for the future of this country.

xiii. The perennial bottleneck with accessing third party research funds (Grants) by our Colleges of Medicine staff across the country persists. This has negatively impacted the ability of researchers to meet with the obligations already agreed to with the funders while also increasing unemployment of graduate students who are often engaged on these research projects.

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RESOLUTIONS

i. The Government should intensify efforts at resolving the economic and security challenges in the country, in order to move the country on the part of sustained progress.

ii. The Government should, as a matter of urgency, put all processes in motion to encourage healthcare workers to stay in the country, thereby curtailing mass exodus to other countries.

iii. The relevant Government agencies should remove all obstacles hampering the placement of House officers to public hospitals and make the process seamless.

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iv. The Medical and Dental Consultants’ Association of Nigeria hereby strongly demands the release of relevant circulars elongating the retirement age of Hospital consultants by the Government.

v. The depressing shortfalls in the salaries of the Honorary Consultants who are Clinical Lecturers should be corrected immediately. We advise the Government to note that we can not guarantee industrial harmony in the Government Hospitals, if these demands are not met within the next two weeks. We therefore call on all well meaning Nigerians to intervene, in order to avert the impending crisis.

vi. MDCAN encourages her members to convert brain drain to brain gain through personal development and adoption of entrepreneurial skills to augment their significantly devalued income in the face of rising inflation and devaluation of the Naira.

vii. The Association enjoins our members to make use of the opportunity presented by the Medical entrepreneurship.

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viii. The Government is urged to give tax implementation a human face to avoid further depletion of hard earned salaries of MDCAN members, especially in this period of harsh economic realities. MDCAN appreciates tax exemption on call duty allowance of members granted by states such as Delta and calls on other State Governments to emulate this. The relevant Government Agencies, such as IPPIS, must ease the implementation of these tax relief.

ix. MDCAN is in total support of the NMA’s resolution directing NMA Abia State to issue a 21 day ultimatum to the Abia State Government, over non payment of doctors’ salaries for twenty (24) months and directs all her members to key into all actions by the NMA to compel Abia State Government to resolve the crisis with doctors.

x. All attempts by non – doctors to encroach into the Medical and Dental Profession must stop forthwith. MDCAN dissociates herself from the so called Residency Training Programmes for non doctors and calls on the relevant Government Agencies to be wary of the dangers this portends.

xi. We once more appeal to the House of Representatives to throw away the obnoxious bill seeking to amend the Teaching Hospital Act in its entirety.

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xii. The Association reiterates her unwavering support for the ongoing ASUU strike and urge the Government to intensify efforts at resolving the impasse, in order to end the protracted strike action.

READ ALSO: NEC 2022: Medical Practitioners Express Worry Over Challenges Facing Health Sector

xiii. We appeal to Government to put policy in place to ensure seamless access to third party research funds in our institutions by excluding such funds from the Treasury Single Account and its attendant breaurocracy.

ACKNOWLEDGEMENT

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We appreciate the Special Guest of Honour, His Excellency,Mr Godwin Obaseki, the Executive Governor of Edo state, for his role towards the success of this NEC meeting, Benin city 2022. Similarly, we appreciate the Honourable Commissioner for Health, Edo state, Prof. Obehi Akoria, for her immense support for the event. Our gratitude also goes to Prof. Lilian I. Salami, the Vice Chancellor of UNIBEN,who was the chairman of the occasion.

We wish to specially thank the Permanent Secretary Federal Ministry Health Mr Mahmuda Mamman and our Chief Host Professor Darlington Obaseki, the Chief Medical Director, University of Benin Teaching Hospital. Our appreciations equally go to two of the founding fathers of MDCAN, Professor Phillip Abiodun and Emeritus Professor A.A.E. Orhue for their immense support for the success of this NEC meeting.

We remain grateful to all our speakers especially Dr. Lucky Okparayanote for their insightful lectures and intellectual diets provided to the participants and members of the public. The sponsors of this event are appreciated for their supportive partnership, and we wish to specially thank members of the Fourth Estate for the immense publicity they have given to this event.

Finally, we wish to express our sincere gratitude to our dear hosts, the Executive Committee, and members of MDCAN UBTH, Benin, especially the hardworking LOC of Benin City 2022 for their uncommon hospitality, sacrifice, and dedication towards the success of this event. This LOC has shown the world that Benin city is truly the cradle of human civilization.

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Dr. Victor Makanjuola          Dr. Yemi R. Raji     President                            Secretary General 

 

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Lagos Cholera Cases Rise To 421

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The Lagos state suspected cholera cases have risen to 421.

The Commissioner for Health, Akin Abayomi disclosed this on his Instagram handle @profakinabayomi on Saturday.

As of June 20, 2024, an additional four suspected cholera cases have been reported, as illustrated in the accompanying graph,” he wrote.

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He noted that the Emergency Operations Centre in collaboration with all relevant partners is actively engaged in contact tracing, community-based surveillance, awareness campaigns, sample testing, and ensuring that confirmed cholera cases receive appropriate medical treatment.

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On Friday, the commissioner confirmed 35 cases out of the 417 suspected cases and 24 deaths across 20 Local Government Areas in the state.

The cases were reported from Agege, Badagry, Ikeja, Mushin, Ajeromi-Ifelofun, Epe, Ikorodu, Ojo, Alimosho, and Eti-Osa.

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Others were Kosofe, Oshodi-Isolo, Amuwo-Odofin, Ibeju-Lekki, Lagos Island, Shomolu, Apapa, Ifako-Ijaiye, Lagos mainland, and Surulere.

Cholera is a food and water-borne disease caused by ingesting the bacteria— Vibrio cholerae — in contaminated water and food. Cholera can cause severe acute watery diarrhoea, and the severe forms of the disease can kill within hours if left untreated.

In Nigeria, cholera is an endemic and seasonal disease, occurring annually mostly during the rainy season and more frequently in areas with poor sanitation.

READ ALSO: Police Arrest 28yr Old Suspected Cultists, Recover Gun In Delta Community

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The World Health Organisation on Thursday announced a spike in cholera in several regions of the world, with almost 195,000 cases and over 1,900 deaths reported in 24 countries since the start of 2024.

WHO said the Eastern Mediterranean Region reported the highest number of cases, followed by the African Region, the Region of the Americas, the Southeast Asia Region, and the European Region.

The global health body, however, noted that there are no reported cases in the Western Region, according to its bulletin released on Wednesday.

It said it exhausted its global stockpile of Oral Cholera Vaccines by March but was able to exceed “the emergency target of five million doses in early June for the first time in 2024.”

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AUTISM: What You Need To Know

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By Silver Yeibake 

Autism, commonly known as Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), is a neurodevelopmental disorder that affects communication, social interaction, and behavior. Autism is referred to as a spectrum condition since it can manifest in a variety of symptoms and abilities. While the actual cause of autism is unknown, evidence suggests that genetic and environmental factors interact to influence its development.

The risk factors include a sibling with autism, advanced age of parents, exposure to certain air pollutants and pesticides before birth, extreme prematurity, mothers with diabetes, immune system disorders or obesity, any difficulty with delivery leading to deprivation of oxygen to the baby’s brain, fever during pregnancy, lack of certain vitamins minerals during pregnancy, and certain genetic conditions, such as Down, fragile X, and Rett syndromes.

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“Risk factors can not on their own cause a disease. However, they can increase the likelihood of that disease in a person.”

It is important to know that contrary to trending claims online, there is no scientific or medical evidence that vaccines or consumption of sugar are risk factors for autism.

READ ALSO: Kidney Stones: What You Need To Know

Autism is defined by difficulties in social interaction and communication. Individuals with autism may struggle to grasp social cues, maintain eye contact, and engage in typical back-and-forth conversations. Some people may also engage in meaningless, repetitive actions, such as hand-flapping or rocking, and have strong interests in specific areas.

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It is essential to remember that autism is a lifelong diagnosis, but with early intervention and adequate care, people with autism can live fulfilling lives.
Autism treatment frequently includes behavioral therapy, speech therapy, occupational therapy, and social skills training. Each individual with autism is unique, thus interventions should be tailored to meet their personal needs and strengths.

In spite of the difficulties that autism can cause, many people with autism possess unique talents and abilities. Some people may succeed in fields such as music, art, mathematics, or programming, thus it is important for society to acknowledge and honor the qualities and achievements of people with autism.

In summary, autism is a complicated and diverse disorder that affects individuals in various ways. By raising autism knowledge, understanding, and acceptance, we can build a more inclusive society in which people with autism can thrive and attain their full potential.

Dr. Yeibake, Weriwoyingipre Silver.
Senior Registrar,
Faculty Of Pediatrics,
WACP

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Don Confirms ‘Zobo’ As Antihypertensive Therapy

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The Deputy Vice Chancellor, University of Nigeria Enugu Campus, UNEC, Prof. Daniel Nwachukwu, after research findings and clinical trials in both animals and human, has confirmed that Hibiscus Sabdariffa, popularly called ‘zobo’ drinks, has all the curative potentials as an antihypertensive therapy.

Nwachukwu, who is a Professor of Cardiovascular Physiology in the university, stated that the antihypertensive effectiveness of the Hibiscus Sabdariffa (zobo) was comparable to those of known antihypertensive drugs that are popular in the retail pharmacies, adding that zobo’s availability, cheapness and absence of side effects make it attractive as an alternative therapeutic agent in mind to moderate hypertensive subjects.

He however cautioned that care should be applied to avoid abuse in the consumption of Hibiscus Sabdariffa (zobo), adding that the therapy could interfere with some anti-malaria drugs while its high dose was also reported to have toxic effects on the liver and kidney.

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Nwachukwu’s discoveries were contained his 201st Inaugural Lecture of the University of Nigeria with the topic “The Marriage Between the Cardiovascular System and Hibiscus Sabariffa: Let no One Put Asunder,” delivered at the moot court hall, Law faculty of the University of Nigeria, Enugu campus.

The DVC warned that Hibiscus Sabariffa consumption is not recommended for persons with low blood pressure because of its well established hypotensive action, advising that during combined therapy with antihypertensive drugs, the blood pressure, BP, must be carefully monitored.

He recommended that industrialists and investors should support large scale production of Hibiscus Sabariffa beverage and its distribution to rural communities in Nigeria, particularly since the raw materials (Hibiscus Sabariffa calyx and water) are cheap and readily available.

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According to Nwachukwu, “This lecture is intended to draw the public attention to our research efforts and unveiling the antihypertensive ability of Hibiscus Sabariffa which is called zobo in our common parlance. What we used for our studies was the same concentration as the locally produced zobo, and we found out that it exerted significant antihypertensive ability, in some cases even higher than the antihypertensive drugs and also did combination therapy with other antihypertensive drugs.

“What is significant is that this zobo is within us, it’s very cheap and it does not have any side effects compared to other antihypertensive agents. The raw material is just to buy zobo, prepare it under hygienic conditions, boil water and put it, sieve it and drink. It may have a sour taste but we do not encourage people to add things like pineapple or sugar in order to make it sweet, because once you do that, you are diluting or reducing its antihypertensive effectiveness.

“We have demonstrated it, both in animal studies and in humans. We are the first to do clinical trials, using mild to moderate antihypertensive Nigerians and we found it very useful. Some of the results show that one can actually use it and we equally saw that you can use it to prevent even diabetes from occurring because it reduces the rise in glucose level.”

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READ ALSO: Adolescent Girls Face Risks Of Sexual Violence – UNICEF

Vice Chancellor of the University, Professor Charles Igwe while summarizing the lecture said that the lecture was in three dimensions; one on health grounds, another in academics and the third an economic value.

“Its economic in the sense that we can also begin to use what God has given us to make money. Maybe because God gave us everything in abundance in this country, we don’t recognize the simplest things God gave us in our environment. Therefore, what we are saying is that we should begin to, at all these pure water productions and incorporate zobo production so as to make money out of it.

“The university has made its contribution through our laboratories and it’s now left for the business community and the industries to come and buy into it and start widening it and make it very economic,” Igwe suggested.
Vanguard

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