Medical expert laments dearth of urologists in Nigeria
Shadrach-Aisuodione, who works with College of Health Sciences, University of Abuja, made the call in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos.
He said that there were not enough urologists considering the large population and that the insufficiency needed to be addressed for better service outcomes.
According to him, there are few number of urologists in Nigeria, currently put at less than 300 in a country of over 170 million people.
He said that urology was a surgical speciality that deals with the treatment of conditions involving the male and female urinary tract and the male reproductive organs.
“The common urological diseases in Nigeria are Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia (BPH), Cancer of the Prostate, Urinary Tract Calculi (Stones) and Urethral Stricture diseases.
“Prostate cancer is a leading cancer in diagnosis and cause of cancer-related deaths among men. It is the most commonly diagnosed cancer among Nigerian men.
“Surgical treatment for prostate cancer, bladder cancer, urethral stricture and benign prostatic hyperplasia can sometimes damage nerves and blood vessels near the male organ.
“It can impair erection of the penis during sexual performance,“ Shadrach-Aisuodione said.
He said that there were some challenges facing urology practice in Nigeria.
“Some of the challenges include late presentation by the patients to the urologic surgeon, therefore making delayed diagnosis and treatment a common problem.
“Others are that there are no unique technological limitations, the costs of treatment in a private urology centre may present specific challenges to such comprehensive evaluation of patients.’’
He said that some ways to address these challenges would involve improving infrastructure in the rural areas, having access to finance and developing human resource.
He tasked urologists on good practice and optimal evidence-based care that would respond to the needs of the people.
He said that cases of cancer and related ailments in Nigerians would reduce if people do the right thing by creating massive awareness through electronic and the social media.
Shedrach-Aisuodione advised the government to ensure that they practiced urology more in rural areas of the country than the urban centres.
He added that the evaluation of urology conditions using modern medical technology was feasible in a developing country such as Nigeria.