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Medical Expert Decries Dearth of Plastic Surgeons in Nigeria

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Prof. Simon Yiltok of the Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery unit, Department of Surgery, Jos University Teaching Hospital (JUTH), has decried the paucity of plastic surgeons in Nigeria.

Yiltok, the incumbent Provost of the College of Health Sciences, University of Jos, said this while delivering the 96th Inaugural Lecture series of the institution on Tuesday in Jos.

The lecture series has the theme “Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery: Giving Life a Lift”

According to the Don, there are less than 200 registered trained plastic surgeons in the country.

He attributed the shortage of experts in the field to poor remuneration, drive for young medical doctors to seek greener pastures in other fields of medicine.

“Generally there are few health practitioners serving the Nigerian populace and this is worse for plastic surgeons.

“There are less than 200 trained plastic surgeons registered to practice in the country with an estimated population of over 200 million.

“As it 2017, the distribution of the 114 trained plastic surgeons in the six geo-political zones of the country.

“For instance, north central has 23, north east, two, northwest, 10, south east, 25, south south, 15 and south west 29.

“Also, very few medical doctors develop interest in training to specialise in surgery and by extension plastic surgery. They prefer to specialise in other aspects of medicine

“Recently too, there is a surge in many doctors emigrating to greener pastures in the Middle East, Europe, America and other countries,” he said.

Yiltok also decried the paucity of infrastructure which has hampered effective service delivery in the plastic surgery field of medicine.

He lamented that most hospitals lack the necessary equipment to pave way for best practice and addressing complex cases.

“There is gross inadequacy of facilities to practice. The hospitals are not well equipped to allow for the best practice,” he said.

He further identified other challenges such as poverty, poor funding of hospitals, culture and believe system, lack of awareness, quackery, complex cases, e.t.c.

Yiltok called for training of more personnel in the field and urged young medical doctors to develop interest in field.

He advised government to establish a well-equipped and functional centres and increase funding for health facilities that would provide excellent service to the populace in that field of medicine.

He advocated for establishment of a special trust fund to address the challenge of poverty and the inability of patients to meet their needs while taking treatment.

“There is need for a paradigm shift in the remuneration of the workforce and this should be based on the output and complexity of task carried by them.

“There should be more investment in this area that will apply to training and the provision of more facilities,” he advocated

The Don called for increased sensitisation in the prevention of burns injuries and the services that the plastic surgeon can provide through proper health education.

Declaring the lecture open, Prof. Sebastian Maimako, Vice Chancellor of the University, said the topic was apt.

He said the lecture would contribute immensely to the body of knowledge in Nigeria and beyond, adding that it would also place the university on higher echelon among its peers.

“Our university is known and celebrated to be an institution where proper learning and research take place.

“This lecture series is part of our contribution to the growth and development of the society,” he said

Maimako said that the inaugural lecture would be the last to be held during his tenure as vice chancellor, as his tenure would elapse in few days.

He thanked members of the university community for supporting him to succeed and called on them to accord the same support to his successor. (NAN)

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Health

Lassa Fever Claims 10 Lives in Ebonyi

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The Ebonyi Ministry of Health disclosed that Lassa Fever killed 10 persons in the state from Jan. 4 to Feb. 16, 2024.

The Disease Surveillance Notification Officer of the ministry, Mr Sampson Orogwu, made the disclosure in a statement issued in Abakaliki.

Orogwu stated that 25 persons were infected, including two healthcare workers.

He added  that “16 out of the 25 infected persons are males, while nine are females.

“The dead include a pregnant woman and two children.

“The affected local government areas include: Onicha, Ikwo, Ezza North, Ebonyi, Izzi, Ohaukwu and Abakaliki with Hausa quarters and Nkaliki areas in Abakaliki recording the highest number of cases.

He, therefore,  urged residents to report suspected cases to the ministry as treatment is free.

The State Epidemiologist, Dr Ogbonna Nwambeke, also in the statement, said the state government had been collaborating with relevant partners to check spread of the disease

He said “we call for the provision of logistics to increase surveillance and community engagement against risk factors.

“People are also advised to stop bush burning, avoid eating rats and not to touch any surface touched by an infected person.

“We also advise people to maintain high level of personal and environmental hygiene such as covering their food and utensils properly.

Nwambeke appreciated the state government’s provision of Personal Protective Equipment (PPEs) to health workers at the National Obstetrics Fistula Centre to secure their lives and to save others.

Lassa fever is an acute viral haemorrhagic illness caused by Lassa virus, a member of the arenavirus family of viruses.

Humans usually become infected with Lassa virus through exposure to food or household items contaminated with urine or faeces of infected Mastomys rats.

It’s common in West Africa. Most people get mild symptoms, like fever and headache. (NAN)

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Hospital Creates Toxicology Ward to Address Mental Health Issues in Kaduna

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The Federal Neuro-Psychiatric Hospital Barnawa Kaduna said it has created a toxicology ward to address mental health issues in the state..

Its Medical Director, Aishatu Yusha’u-Armiya’u disclosed this on Sunday in Kaduna.

She said the ward allowed the separation of psychiatric patients diagnosed with various forms of psychiatric conditions from those with substance use disorder.

The medical director said, ” This permits the design of a clear plan for the management and rehabilitation of people with substance use disorder.

NAN reports that a toxicology unit identifies, quantifies and determines the amount of) drugs, alcohols, and poison in biological samples such as blood, urine or tissue.

Yusha’u-Armiya’u added that drug information and pharmacovigilance units were also created in the Pharmacy Department.

” These units are responsible for the provision of drugs related information and creating awareness on the presence of dangerous and substandard pharmaceuticals to both staff and patients within the institution.

” The pharmacy department has been provided with a functional and equipped compounding unit which is responsible for the production of all the relevant consumables needed in the hospital.

“In my first year in the office, I ensured that all the consumables needed in the hospital were produced by the pharmacy department,” she said.  (NAN)

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International Condom Day: AHF distributes  condoms, to launch STIs clinic in Benue

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From Attah Ede, Makurdi

As part of activities marking the 2024  International Condom Day, AIDS Healthcare Foundation in Nigeria, on Tuesday,  distributed thousands of  condoms to both young and older people in Makurdi, the Benue State capital.

Furthermore,  AHF has concluded arrangements to build STIs clinic in Benue State and the Federal Capital Territory Abuja to cater for the treatment of sexually transmitted infections in Nigeria.

Addressing journalists at the end of a road walk and distribution of condoms and flyers, the AHF  Advocacy and Marketing Manager in Benue State, Steve Aborishade explained that the International Condom Day is usually celebrated on February 13th as a global event, a day before Valentine’s Day in a bid to promote prevention of STDs, including HIV and unwanted pregnancies through free condom distribution, safer sex awareness events and HIV Testing Services.

He said AHF is aware of what happens among young people during Valentine’s day, hence  to share love, and in sharing love, there is a lot of sex.

Dr. Aborishade stated AHF always advice young people to abstain from sex  but a situation whereby they are not ready to abstain they should always use condom  and use it properly.

 He disclosed that there  rising cases of Sexually Transmitted Infections(STIs) and cases of HIV among the young generation, adding that it is important to give the right education and right information about safe sex.

“That is why the Internatioal condom day is to reach out to the people and to educate the young people to use condom when having sex. Again we also encourage young people to abstain from sex which is the best decision but majority of young people can’t and that’s why we are encouraging them to  use the condoms properly and frequently”.

“We  are partnering with, Apin, Bensaca, Network of youth organizations to create awareness . The theme of this year celebration i is “Just use it” . These condoms are being distributed today in 7 states. We are  also starting an STI clinic in June at AHF in Makurdi and Abuja and it is strictly for STI treatment.

 “Some people have STI and they dont know they have it but with the establishement of the clinic, people would have opportunity to be attended to”, he said.

In her remark, the state Commissioner for woman affairs and social development, Mrs. Ann Itodo commended AHF for creating awareness about safer sex and the need to control STIs  amongst youths in the State.

Mrs. Itodo who was represented by director of women in the ministry, Mrs. Magdalene Doo  said everyone must be involved in the fight against HIV/AIDS and other STis in the state .

She assured that the ministry is ready to collaborate with AHF to educate and enlighten the people of the State and call on the organization to join the ministry to celebrate this year’s Internatioal women’s day in order to create more awareness about STIs in the State. 

Also speaking, the AHF prevention coordinator Benue state, Mrs. Amina Iyaji, maintained that the rate of STIs has reduced drastically due to activities of the organization and assured that they would continue to create more awareness about safe sex.

On her part,  the head of link unit, Apin public health prevention initiatives, Mrs. Lucy Tembe, they would continue to partner with AHF to eradicate STIs in the State.

She maintained that Apin has be able to  render services to prevent diseases among youths in the State and called on other stakeholders to promote safe sex in the State.

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