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Install more functional radiological equipment in health institutions, Expert urges Govt

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A Medical Imaging Scientist, Dr. Livinus Abonyi, has called on Federal and State Governments to install more functional radiological equipment in the public tertiary health institutions for effective emergency care services.

Abonyi, also a lecturer in the Department of Medical Radiography, Faculty of Clinical Sciences, University of Lagos College of Medicine, made the call on Tuesday in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos.

He said the Computed Tomographic (CT) Scan machines were not available in most of the tertiary institutions, adding that where available, they were not functional.

According to him, most Federal Medical Centres, Psychiatric Centres, Specialist Hospitals and Specialised Care or Trauma Centres are under the category of public tertiary health institutions.

Abonyi said that the major challenge of ill health management was lack of proper diagnosis.

He said, “If an ailment is properly diagnosed with appropriate machine, its management and cure will not be farfetched.”

The scientist decried the low number of trained and qualified diagnostic radiologists and oncologists in the country, calling for a change in the narrative.

“This is what medical practice is all about in Nigeria; the number of diagnostic radiologists and therapeutic radiologists (oncologists) are still far below the expected standard.

“The lack or nonfunctional state of most high technology radiological or radio therapeutic equipment in the public tertiary institution needs urgent attention to uphold this specialty.

“Only limited numbers of health institutions meet the minimum requisite demand by the postgraduate colleges for training of this vital and important specialty.

“We need to evaluate the importance of radiology in accurate diagnosis and saving critical time for urgent intervention in emergency cases.

“Some patients with head injuries need CT scan before neurosurgical intervention,’’ Abonyi said.

He then urged the government at the national and state levels to have a critical look at the situation.

“If possible, government should declared a state of emergency on the need to strengthen emergency care services in the hospitals,” the expert said.

Abonyi said every state should at least have three functional CT scanners, adding that the Public Private Partnership (PPP) modality could help in view of the dwindling resources of government.

He said: “Some states that are gateway to millions of road travellers lack CT scanner; meaning that victims of road accidents that need emergency radiological services are at the mercy of God.

“There is also need for continuous training and retraining of doctors, especially the radiologists and oncologists in the advances of emergency radiological care services and emergency care management.

“It is imperative to educate Nigerians on need to stay healthy, abide by rules of road use, avoid violent crises and keep up with regular medical appointments with their doctors to avoid emergency complications,’’ he advised. (NAN)

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