Nigerian Medical Association (NMA) on Thursday shut down many quack dental clinics in Aba, the commercial hub of Abia State and arrested individuals posing as doctors within.
In the same vein, the Nigerian Dental Association (NDA) said that 95% of places known as dental service clinics in Aba are managed by quacks who did not have any form of medical training.
The Chairman, NMA Committee on Discipline, Medical Ethics and Quackery, Dr Eze Eze said that for a very long time in the state, Aba has become a free for all place for anybody to come and practice without any form of monitoring.
He said that now, the NMA Abia State has decided that it will no longer be business as usual and has taken the bull by the horns to save lives by clamping down on such places and arresting their owners and prosecuting them according to the law of Nigeria.
“A lot of maternities here deliver babies and do surgery and when there’s a problem that requires oxygen they cannot afford it and the person will die.
“Those who have tooth problems here will go to quacks to remove their teeth and in the process of doing so, they’ll die instantly and die there while others have sustained infections that led to their deaths two to three weeks later.”
Explaining the process of clamping down, Eze noted that the process of identifying them is very difficult because they are now too many, but added that the NMA has identified some of them.
“They employ other quacks and groom their relatives to keep expanding. So, what we’re doing now is that when we get any of them, we arrest and hand them over to the police for proper prosecution.
“They must tell us their details and how they got registered as doctors and the limits of their practice. By law, nobody should open a hospital without a certified doctor who took an oath of office and who will be liable to man the place
“For the last three weeks, since I’ve been appointed because I’ve not been based in Nigeria for a long time. Although when I was here initially as at 1999 I started looking into this. I later travelled and returned a few years ago,” he said.
Dr Innocent Iwegbu, Chairman of NDA in Abia State stated that the aim of the clamp down on quacks is to save lives as he keeps receiving bad news about their activities on weekly basis.
“Weekly, I’ve been receiving complaints from patients that have been messed up by these quacks here in Aba in particular so we felt that we owe the populace the duty of warning them and clamping down on those that are involved.
“Some of them have been identified and when I discovered some of them when I got their numbers I called them to desist from what they are doing here in Aba, but they refused some I’ve not been able to see them so we have decided to launch an attack on them to save Aba people who are still alive as many have died from the hands of these quacks and we’re here to end it.”
Iwegbu said that the clampdown on quack doctors will extend to all parts of Abia State, but stressed that Aba is the headquarters of these quacks.
“Aba is their headquarters because it’s a bigger city than other parts of the state. It’s on record that 95% of so-called dental service clinics in Aba are all quacks that’s why we see it fit as a duty we owe our people to save them from these quacks,” he said.
Former NMA Secretary in Abia State, Dr Ken Ngwaogwu said that many people who claim to be doctors in Aba did not undergo any form of medical training.
“Our people are not getting the best services and the image of our profession is being dragged to the mould. Some of them never passed through the four walls of any University.”
A member of the NMA Discipline Medical Ethics and Quackery, Dr Godwin Nkworcha said that it is very important that NMA make the charlatans who claim to be doctors realize that they cannot continue to take lives as they want in the name of doing business.
“How can people who didn’t pass through any medical school be answering doctors, they can be very dangerous to society. Before are believing them more because they’re busy advertising their services the way it should not be,” he said.
AbaCityBlog reports that too many quack dental clinics were shut down with their owners arrested and their signposts pulled down by the team accompanied by a police team from the Aba Area Command.