BY UBON EKANEM, CALABAR – Efforts to rid Cross River State of charlatans are yielding positive results, with the state government arresting the culprits and shutting down medical facilities found to be engaging in unsound practices throughout the state.
Already, six people, including a Benue state-born doctor, Dr Austin Adugba, have been arrested by the Nigerian Police in conjunction with the Cross River State Task Force on Quackery and Related Violations in the health care delivery system.
State task force chairman Dr David Ushie, who made the revelation in Calabar, the state capital, said the Life First medical center owned by Dr Adugba, located in the government area state’s Ogoja local, tops the list of wandering installs.
Speaking to reporters at the Ernest Etim Bassey Press Centre, Dr Ushie said that the unsound medical practices being carried out in the medical facility go against all established rules governing healthcare delivery services in the country. ‘State and Beyond, noting that the suspect, Dr. Adugba, conspired to perform the fake surgeries on nine of the 10 patients who were found at the facilities visited by the team.
Dr Ushie, who also serves as Governor Ben Ayade’s special adviser on health matters, said what is obtained at the medical station is only intended to defraud unsuspecting members of the public into believing they are receiving drugs. affordable and inexpensive medical care for their various ailments.
He also said that the owner of the center was allegedly involved in recruiting charlatans and mobilizing them to carry out all sorts of illicit activities in rural communities, defrauding ignorant members of those localities and putting lives at risk.
The Governor’s aide has alerted members of the public to the distrust of a situation where a specialist gynecologist doubles as a surgeon just to portray himself as a concerned medical caregiver when in reality his intentions are purely for monetary gain.
He further explained that the attention of the task force had been drawn to medical awareness in the community of Aladim in Ogoja LGA and upon going there they were shocked at what confronted them in the name of the provision of affordable health insurance to people suffering from various forms of illnesses, ranging from hernia surgery to tooth extraction by unqualified, self-proclaimed medical experts.
According to Dr. Ushie, a specialist consultant at the University Hospital of Calabar (UCTH), the task force immediately sprang into action, arresting some of the perpetrators while others, including the owner of Life First Medical Center, took action. ran away.
While commending the security agencies for locating those who escaped as they are currently in custody awaiting prosecution by the relevant authorities, Dr Ushie assured the public that given such a startling discovery, the task force is also set to crack down on illegal drug dealers parading the streets. every day and on public transport to advertise miracle drugs.
He said the dangerous claims by these criminally-minded salespeople that a particular drug has the power to cure up to 30 different forms of disease without lab testing are particularly disturbing.
The task force chairman said that what is even worse is that vendors keep these so-called miracle drugs in clearly inadequate storage facilities, even though on the face of it it can be established that they are exposed to abnormal temperature which can easily affect their potency. .
In addition, Ushie said before the recent incident, 22 cases were handled by the task force and arrests were made by the police while 13 health facilities were closed due to various violations of medical regulatory laws. .