ASABA – The Commissioner for Health in Anambra State, Dr Joe Akabuike, has stressed the need for early diagnosis of ailments “so that patients can receive prompt treatment.’’
The commissioner, who is also a Surgeon, made the remark while answering questions from newsmen at the 48th Conference of International College of Surgeons, Nigeria National Section, on Thursday in Asaba.
According to him, some of the challenges facing surgeons in Nigeria include the inability to diagnose diseases early and inadequate medical facilities.
He said most illnesses that required surgery could be treated better if doctors got them at earlier stages.
He added that “like cases of cancer and intestine obstructions, when you get them primarily, they are better treated before they get complicated.’’
Akabuike, who said Nigeria had experts that proved themselves as the best in medical world, however, added that “we are handicapped by the lack of sophisticated equipment to work with.
“However, we are aware that there are some improvements in the health sector in places like Lagos and Abuja and I am sure we will gradually get there.
“That is why we are having a conference like this to discuss and access the quality of surgical care in the country and to think of how we can improve on what we are doing.’’
On his part, Dr Francis Edozien, a Gynaecologist, urged government to expand the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) so as to provide universal healthcare for all Nigerians.
He also called on government to make laws to cover healthcare and make quality health accessible to all Nigerians like what was obtained in advanced countries.
Prof. Iyekeoretine Evbuomwan of University of Benin had earlier delivered a lecture in which he called on surgeons to be conversant with modern practices in the health sector to win patients’ confidence.