Association cautions public against patronizing hawkers of medical services

One of the beneficiaries, undergoing free medical screening in commemoration of the International Day for Women at the National Stadium, Surulere, Lagos. PHOTO: PAUL ADUNWOKE

One of the beneficiaries, undergoing free medical screening in commemoration of the International Day for Women at the National Stadium, Surulere, Lagos. PHOTO: PAUL ADUNWOKE

The Association of Medical Laboratory Scientists has cautioned members of the public against patronising hawkers of medical services, describing the trend as “abnormal.”

Mr Solomon Chollom, Chairman of the National Veterinary Research Institute (NVRI), Vom chapter of the association, gave the caution during interview with News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), in Jos on Wednesday,

He said the association was already working toward sponsoring a Bill to outlaw the practice.

“Our research has shown that most of these hawkers have no medical training in any field and are only deceiving people’’, he said.

He particularly frowned at people who move machines to individuals and corporate bodies to diagnose various ailments.

Chollom said medicine could not be hawked or moved from one point to another. “You cannot move hospitals to peoples’ homes or institutions.

“Even in the past, when the traditional medicine man was seen as a demigod, patients followed him to his shrine where they sought attention for their medical concerns.

“The modern medical practice has not reversed that. You cannot carry gadgets and medicines around.

“One fundamental question people must ask is what they will do if the medicine received from such mobile `hospitals’ turned out to be injurious.

“Clearly, the hawkers usually leave no contacts; the basis is just to make money. It is not for any clinical concern at all’’, Chollom said.

The expert said the rate of quacks in the medical profession was alarming, and condemned a situation where unqualified persons were engaged by hospitals to diagnose samples in laboratories.

“Many of the technologists in some private clinics are not qualified and not licensed.

“The hospitals engaged them because they do not want to spend money on true professionals that are qualified to do the job.

“They could end up engaging any laboratory attendant to do the job not minding the health implications of such action’’, he added.

On discrepancies in results of tests conducted on one person by two qualified professionals, he said that such could result from faults in the diagnostic kits.

“Most of the kits used are not produced in Nigeria; in the process of transporting the kits, there could be some breakage that may affect the integrity of the kits which could, in turn, impede efficiency’’, he said.

Chollom said the association had established an ethics and disciplinary unit to deal with members engaged in unwholesome practices and had actually withdrawn the licenses of several defaulters.

“If the unwholesome practice involves our member, we withdraw the license. If the offender is found to be a quack, we ensure he is prosecuted for quackery, deception or impersonation’’, he said.

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1 Comment
  • amador kester

    When professional medical system is inaccessible, too haughty to be made available to peoples homes,or too expensive that they price their services out of the market the masses patronize ” quacks” .These quacks only need training which the haughty ” experts” cannot offer. Thus govt must step in to continuously train and grow the experiential and theoretical capacity of these quacks because proverbially and historically the quack of yesterday is the professor of tomorrow