A retired Prof. Abraham Malu, from the Department of Medicine, College of Health Sciences, University of Jos, has denounced the rarity of qualified endoscopists in Nigeria.
An endoscopy is a procedure where organs inside the body are looked at using an instrument called an endoscope, a long, thin, flexible tube that has a light and camera at one end. Images inside of the body are shown on a television screen.
Malu decried while delivering his valedictory lecture on Tuesday in Jos. The lecture was tagged “Freely You Received, Freely Pass it On: Training Gastroenterologists in Nigeria”.
Malu, a one-time Chief Medical Director, Benue State Teaching Hospital, Makurdi, said the absence of trained professionals in the field has affected the medical profession in general.
He also denounced the absence of trained nurses to assist in endoscopy and cleaning or disinfection of endoscopic equipment in Nigerian hospitals.
“Society for Gastroenterology and Hepatology in Nigeria (SOGHIN) has less than 100 active members who are trained endoscopists.
“Mayo Clinic in the United States (U.S) for instance, has more than 140 trained Gastroenterologists; all of them trained in diagnostic and therapeutic endoscopy.
“Many developed countries are training nurses and primary care physicians to run diagnostic endoscopy services for uncomplicated patients.
“Most endoscopy units in Nigeria are limited to diagnostic and therapeutic procedures. Gastroenterologists elsewhere have to be trained in therapeutic procedures to be certified as gastroenterologists,” he said.
The professor also condemned the absence of endoscopic equipment in the country, and called on government to provide such facilities in public hospitals for efficient service delivery.
He called on government to ensure regular training and retraining on endoscopy for medical personnel to guarantee sufficient manpower in the medical department.