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Radiographers seek end to quackery, threaten to prosecute erring practitioners

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The Radiographers’ Registration Board of Nigeria (RBBN) has called for an end to quackery in radiodiagnosis, even as the Board threatens to prosecute those violating the code of practice in Nigeria.

Speaking yesterday in Lagos during a stakeholder meeting hosted by the Board, RRBN Chairman, Mr. Abdulfatai Bakre, stated that Nigeria was becoming a dumping ground for substandard medical equipment through the handiwork of unscrupulous foreigners.

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He further explained that it was heartbreaking to see that qualified radiographers were not manning some diagnostic centres in Nigeria.

Bakre said that the hazardous scenario needed to change, explaining that radiography practice has grown from routine x-ray investigation to sophisticated procedures such as Computed Tomography (CT), Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI), Positron Emission Tomography (PET), and Single Photon Emission Computed Tomography (SPECT) in Nuclear Medicine, ultrasonography and radiation therapy.

“It is on these premises that I would like to call on the employers of labour, in public and private, to encourage good radiography practices through appropriate equipment procurement, employment of qualified and registered radiographers with requisite skills and professionalism with commensurate remuneration,” Bakre said.

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Bakre further stated that the essence of the meeting was to educate the public, radiogranostic centre owners, and other stakeholders about the dangers of quackery in the practice of ionising radiation and prompt radiography centre owners in Southwestern Nigeria to organise their affairs ahead of intense monitoring and enforcement by the Board.

On his part, the Registrar of RRBN, Prof. Mark Okeji, stated that the Board has decided to take the issue of monitoring and enforcement seriously because ionising radiation, which is used by radiographers, have the capacity to cause genetic mutation, which could lead to health problems such as cancer across generations.

Based on the foregoing, Okeji said every radiography unit or centre in Nigeria must be registered with RRBN in accordance with the Act establishing the Board.

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The registrar further tasked radio-diagnostic centre operators to employ only licensed and trained radiographers, and maintain a minimum number of radiographers as prescribed by the Board.

He further recommended that no radio-diagnostic centre should be located in a marketplace, business centre, or very crowded area, adding every centre must have a changing cubicle for patients.

Okeji revealed that the Board would not hesitate to prosecute any centre operator violating radiography standards, explaining that the Board would withdraw the accreditation of any erring centre, seal up such centre and ensure that the offending party is arrested and prosecuted in accordance with the law.

Also speaking, Prof. Kenneth Agwu urged the government to train enough radiographers to push out quacks from the practice.

Agwu further stated that the institutionalisation of universal health insurance coverage would discourage patients from seeking the services of quacks, explaining that the out-of-pocket payment system as being operated in Nigeria was equally contributing to the burgeoning issue of quackery in the health care sector.

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