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Nigerian physicians brainstorm on modern trends in medicine


Chairman PathCare Laboratories, Prof Ibironke Akinsete

Chairman PathCare Laboratories, Prof Ibironke Akinsete

With the lack in new and modern techniques in Nigerian health sector, the need to equip the nation’s health facilities and most importantly, its doctors with the new and emerging trends in the profession has become paramount to aid the country measure up with its counterparts and also reduce the outflow of funds in medical tourism.

As a result of this, PathCare Laboratories organised a forum for over 500 doctors in Lagos where they were educated and kept abreast on specific aspects of medicine that the sector seem not to be grasping with.

At the forum, experts in their different fields were invited to lecture the doctors on topics which included: ‘Current Concepts in Modern Sports Medicine’; ‘Kidney Stones- Unrecognised, Undiagnosed and Untreated’ and finally, ‘Decoding the National Health Bill- What Every Physician in Private Practice Needs to Know’.

Lecturing on the Current Concepts in Modern Sports Medicine, Director, Elite Healthcare Systems (EHS) Sports Medicine, Orthopaedics Surgery and Rehabilitation Practice, Dr. Dayo Osholowu disclosed that one of the emerging trends in modern sports medicine which is still alien to the country’s healthcare sector is Biologics; a system which he said is using body tissues to treat an injured area for quicker recovery.

He said that the system requires a physician to for instance, treat someone with an injured tendon or joint by taking his blood, process it to extract what is called ‘protein-rich platelets’. This he said will concentrate up to 500 per cent and then injected back to the patient and speed up healing of six weeks to about two to four weeks.

Dayo who also is a member of FIFA International Football Network and served as Medical Officer at the 2010 World Cup held in South Africa revealed that this novel treatment in sports medicine was somehow controversial in about 10 years ago but research has confirmed it to be a very effective way of treatment.

He disclosed further that Ultrasound which previously is akin to pregnancies now has devices that can be used to scan the knees, shoulders, elbows and others to make a diagnosis. This procedure is normally done through MRI scans but Dayo noted that this is more expensive to conduct unlike ultrasound which is far cheaper, accurate and readily available.

Another emerging trend in sports medicine which the Sports Medicine expert related to the doctors was arthroscopic surgery. He disclosed that procedures like treatment of joints which were previously carried out by cutting open the area are now done through keyhole surgery.

Dayo stated that modern sports medicine has created a pathway for accelerated recovery and higher performance for athletes. He also chipped-in that it has provided opportunity for athletes to get back to their profession quicker and helped them win championships.

He further educated the doctors on exercise prescriptions and how they can advise their patients to live a healthier life through regular exercises.

According to him, “research has shown that being on structured exercise programme as part of one’s lifestyle can actually prevent and treat certain conditions like diabetes, high blood pressure, heart diseases while also reducing death from them. But the problem is: how do doctors prescribe exercise to their patients?

“Doing simple things like walking… the normal person walk 3000 steps a day. But for it to be beneficial to their health, they have to walk 11,000 steps a day. Walking more, dancing, playing with your children are critical for increased physical activities.”

On the topic of ‘Kidney Stones- Unrecognised, Undiagnosed and Untreated’, taken by a Consultant Urological Surgeon- Royal Free London NHS Foundation, Mr. Leye Ajayi, he noted that it is common problem in Nigeria.

He lamented that there are a lot of patients dying in the country as a result of misdiagnosis by doctors. He noted that the ability of doctors to diagnose the ailment at first instance is a challenge which Nigerian doctors must embrace to cut the mortality rate that goes with it.

The United Kingdom (U.K) based doctor disclosed that to diagnose the ailment, a Computerized Tomography Scan (C.T.S) has to be conducted. He said that an X-ray does not give all the information that is needed.

Ajayi disclosed that the ailment comes with symptoms such as crippling and unimaginable pain. According to him, “suddenly, a man gets a severe loin left or the right side of their body which can be quite crippling; it makes most men cry. I’ve heard women describe it as worst than giving birth. It is quite excruciating and the doctor needs to be astute and alert when a patient presents them with such severe pain.”

He stated further that kidney stone often mixes up with malaria with symptoms of fever and feelings of unwell which is septic.

Ajayi said that if the growth is left undiagnosed and it obstructs and block the kidney, the patient can lose his/her kidney. He revealed that there is 20 to 30 per cent of mortality rate associated with undiagnosed kidney stone which makes it imperative that it is diagnosed and at an early stage to save the patient’s life.

He advised people to hydrate more often, stating that hydration and alkalinization are key to reducing the chances of getting the disease. He said that kidney stones are soluble, adding, “Once it forms crystals in the kidney, the only way you can pass it is to drink a lot of water to help flush it out. We always advise our stone patients to hydrate; two litres a day for people living in United Kingdom (U.K) and in Africa where the temperature is as high as 30 to 40 degrees, probably five litres a day to try and reduce the risk of forming new stones. Also, they should take more oranges, fruit juice and diet adjustment.

“There are some diets that are very high in oxalate. You can prevent oxalate stone formation by eating certain foods. Foods like red wine, cheese and from Nigerian perspective, okro, spinach and ofor are all very high in oxalate.

“I am not saying people should stop taking but they should reduce the intake of all these foods.

“Also, Nigerians eat a lot of animal fats. An average Nigerian eats a goat a year considering the rate people consume meats in the country and this is not good because it also causes the formation of kidney stones.”

Ajayi revealed that the general population is at risk of forming stones. Noting that 10 per cent of the general population in the U.K form stones, he pointed out that in a country like the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia which has the same climate as ours, 20 percent of their population have kidney stones.

He however described as unfortunate the lack of epidemiological data to ascertain the prevalence rate of the disease in the country. He then called on relevant authorities to take necessary steps to address the issue for proper documentation and treatment.

Taking the other lecture, ‘Decoding the National Health Bill- What Every Physician in Private Practice Needs to Know’, Dr. Seun Akinyemi of the Department of Health Policy and Management, College of medicine, University of Ibadan educated the medical practitioners on the content of the recently signed health bill.

Most important among what was related to them was the criminalization of denial of emergency treatment to a patient for any reason. Others include detaining a patient a health facility cannot treat either for financial or ego reasons, giving a patient drugs that he is not aware of among others.

Akinyemi who intimated them of the punishment each of the offences carries both in fines, jail terms or both in some cases, advised them that in cases like gunshot wounds, they should commence treatment and then alert the police.

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