The Menace Of Quackery In The Nigerian Healthcare Service, A Call for Sanity Amongst Nigerian Nurses By Prince (Comrade) Aremu Lucky Okikola

Quackery is defined as “The fraudulent medical practices , usually in order to make money or for ego gratification and power; health fraud. (countable) An instance of practicing fraudulent medicine.   It is no longer a new thing that nursing profession remains the major/only profession within the health sector that suffered the effects of quackery within the health sector. It is visible to the visually impaired, audible to the deaf the active participation of Nigerian nurses either in the breeding of quacks or aiding of quackery practices. (Although this is debatable).   It will be gathered that nurses on so many occasion have involved themselves in blaming games, projection of quackery in Nursing profession as an act of physicians(doctors) but the how long are we going to live in deception? The earliest we realized the truth, accept the truth and ready to fight the course for this profession, the better it will be for both the profession(nursing) and the professionals (nurses).   The quackery activities in our society is now at alarming rate and a thorn in the flesh of nursing profession. We have diverted from reality chasing the whirlwind.

THOSE WHO BEAR THE NAME NURSE IN NIGERIA ARE: 1. Anyone in white 2. Auxiliaries (as Acclaimed) 3. Health attendants 4. Chemist attendants 5. Registered Nurses (irrespective of qualifications RN, RM or BNSC).   It will be noted that the real professionals among the above listed gained less recognition within the society while the Acclaimed auxiliaries were noted and has the attention of the society(this is debateable as well).   HOW NIGERIAN NURSES BREED AND AID QUAKERY IN NURSING PROFESSION a. Over 90% of Nigerian nurses who own a clinic/maternity trains auxiliaries (quacks who are mostly primary school and secondary school dropouts) for money making and for alternate services of professional nurses.   b. Over 95% of Nigerian nurses who own a clinic/maternity employ the services of auxiliaries in place of registered nurses because the former requires a token for salary compared to the later.   c. Over 95% of Nigerian female nurses who are married to  medical doctors stand as “MATRONS” in their spouse (a medical doctor) hospital and same matrons supervise the training of these quacks, employed their services and if at any means they have one registered nurse as a cover up, they religate the registered nurse in the presence of the quacks in same facility.   d. Mostly registered Nurses are that were employed in private settings are left with the responsibilities of training these quacks within the private hospitals because the real employers has no time to grant them training.   e. During registration of private health facilities, the registered nurses mostly rent out their license to these unscrupulous elements to use for registration and will be paid a token.   f. During monitoring, registered Nurses are contacted by these folks to come and stand-in/cover up for them for a day or two with a minimum of #40,000 negotiating as pay or more depending on your negotiation power. During these exercise, the quacks either put on mufty or health attendants uniform and will answer as either record officers, attendants or casual workers. But immediately after monitoring registered nurses will disappear and quacks re-emerged.   g. During monitoring, among the team members would have called the attention of their people in the practice of quackery to notify them of their coming so that the culprits will make all necessary arrangements and avoid being caught.   h. On the aspect of NANNM and NMCN, the legal aspect that deal with the punishment of those caught in quackery is a slap to the face of nursing profession. How do we expect the payment of #1000 as penalty to those caught and this to teach people lesson while they joke with lives of innocent Nigerians?   i. Many have suggested the issue of nursing uniforms as another way of breeding quackery as the white uniform has been in use by none professionals. But the real fact remains:  . “where is the legal backup that restricted the use of white to nurses?” . “Do we really have a uniform for Nigerian nurses”? or just the use of white on assumption or tradition?   Answers to the above questions will help us a lot in defining ourselves and our image.   My dear colleagues, we can not continue to deceive ourselves anymore. A time to stop the hanky-panky games that is killing the noble profession. The mother of the profession “FLORENCE NIGHTINGALE” has suffered a lot to bring out the nursing into a standard of profession from quackery.   Help us and save our future with the image.   This is a call to everyone involved in one way or the other either directly or indirectly in ensuring the image of the profession is secured. NANNM and NMCN alone can not do it.   Publication for NANNM and NMCN will come at a later time.   Thanks.   PRINCE (COMRADE) AREMU LUCKY OKIKIOLA Chairman, MEN IN NURSING ASSEMBLY OF NIGERIA Chairman, NANNM Irele/Igbekebo General Hospital unit, Ondo State National President, NATIONAL OPEN UNIVERSITY OF NIGERIA NURSING STUDENTS ASSOCIATION Phone: 08067659391

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