Dearth Of Paediatric Surgeons Poses Challenges To Quality Healthcare To 86million Nigerian Children - THE DAILY CRUCIBLE

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Friday, March 26, 2021

Dearth Of Paediatric Surgeons Poses Challenges To Quality Healthcare To 86million Nigerian Children


From Ayobami Ife, Abeokuta

A paediatric surgeon, Aderibigbe Shonubi, has expressed concern over the dearth of trained paediatric surgeons in the country.

Aderibigbe said there were about 127 fully trained and practicing paediatric surgeons in Nigeria  as of December 2020.

He said these meagre number of surgeons were already over burdened with the task of attending to 86million Nigerian children out of the country's about 199million population.

The Professor of paediatric surgery spoke on Friday  while delivering a valedictory lecture of the Olabisi Onabanjo University Teaching Hospital(OOUTH), Sagamu, after after his three decades of service at the specialist health facility.

Delivering the lecture titled "Paediatric Surgery: A Glimpse At The Treck," he  explained that each of the about 127 paediatric surgeons in Nigeria contends with the burden and responsibility of providing care for about 600,000 children.

According to him, the dearth and  mal - distribution of trained paediatric surgeons, leaves room for general surgeons, general medical practitioners, medical officers of health and, in some settings, people in professions allied to medicine  to attend to the surgical needs of children.

He noted that it was in realization of the said inadequacy that fueled his personal initiative to offer paediatric consultancy services to several private and government health facilities in need of help.

Aderibigbe recalled OOUTH took off on a sound footing, maintaining high standard in the performance of teaching and clinical duties, but lamented that in the last one or two decades, the place had witnessed "progressive decline in fortunes and ranking." 

He attributed the cause to conflicting interest among the staff, declining community interest, inadequate funding and inappropriate meddling in its administration by the State Government.

He urged the Ogun State Government to "provide all that is needed to redeem, restore, sustain and advance OOUTH to the level comparable to similar health institutions globally."

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