By Auwal Ahmed Ibrahim
Nigeria is seriously battling with fake medical practitioners here and there causing more harm than good for the country. Currently, there are thousands of illegal health institutions in Nigeria and fake medical professionalism is another tsunami for the country, taking a decisive major for better healthcare system in Nigeria at this crucial time is most welcome and important.
In 2022, Kano state shutdown 26 illegal health institutions in the state due to absent of teaching curricula and hike fees, while they institutions are not registered. This problem is not peculiar to Kano state alone but it is a dilemma that disturbs the nation, but taking a drastic major by National Board for Technical Education, NBTE to arrest illegal operators of health colleges has come to save Nigerians’ lives.
The domain of health sector in Nigeria is characterized not only by illegal institutions but also unprofessionals and fake medical practitioners, and the promise of NBTE to hunt violators is a progressive step to sanitize the health system in the country.
The Executive Secretary of the National Board for Technical Education on 27th of April, 2023 has said the Board has partnered with Department of State Services, DSS to expose and arrest violators in a meeting with proprietors of health colleges of Nigeria, for sure the time to save lives and improve Nigerian health sector has come to the doorstep.
Research in 2006 shown that more than 400,000 people die in every year in Nigeria and the maternal mortality figure in Nigeria in the last year stood at 512 deaths per 100,000 live births and this casualty is connected to the number of quack nurses breeding from illegal health colleges of the country.
The statement of Professor Idris M. Bugaje is true that most of the illegal colleges don’t have formal method of teaching, they extort too much fees, and swindle the students.
The commitment of NBTE will invigorate the Vision 2050 of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and the World Health Organization (WHO) towards better healthcare system in Nigeria and the perpetuation will stable and sanitize Nigerian healthcare sector.
The good effort to sanitize health colleges in Nigeria is a good move by the NBTE but that is not enough because there are many unregistered hospitals in Nigeria which connive with illegal and fake medical practitioners killing people, Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC), Nigerian Medical Association (NMA), Nursing and Midwifery Council of Nigeria (NMCN), Medical Rehabilitation Therapist Board (MRTB) and other relevant unions and agencies should be up and doing to their tasks to augment the effort of NBTE.
Another very important thing is; those illegal health colleges and hospitals exist in the rural and remote areas hiding away from people but journalist can help in exposing the menace. For NBTE it has partnered with DSS to arrest operators of illegal health colleges but government and other relevant agencies can partner with journalists, communities leaders to address the issue and having a hotline or mailbox can help in tackling and exposing the rot in the Nigerian health sector but for sure NBTE has taken the best step to improve Nigerian health sector and this demands for commendations and reawakening.
Auwal Ahmed Ibrahim (Goronyo) is a lecturer of Mass Communication Department, Kaduna Polytechnic and can be reached via [email protected]