Nigeria has only 100 urologists - Expert

Posted by News Express | 21 October 2015 | 16,084 times

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Dr Celsus Undie, a Consultant Urologist, Kelina Hospital, Gwarinpa, FCT, says Nigeria has only 100 Urologists to treat its population of over 170 million.

He told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja that the shortage of urologists in the country was responsible for several ailments to go undiagnosed.

Undie, who also noted that lack of equipment and training continually hampered the practice of urology in Nigeria, added that Egypt had over 1,200 urologists and India 3,000.

He said that due to insufficient training some doctors were not knowledgeable about the benefits of urology and medical conditions treated by urologists.

He said this prevented them from making proper recommendations and referral to patients in some cases leading to poor diagnosis and treatment of ailments.

The consultant urologist said that some of the medical conditions diagnosed and treated by a gynaecologist and other specialised areas were supposed to be treated by an urologist.

“Most times when women marry and they cannot have children some go to see a gynaecologists, in some cases they are advised to do an IVF.

“But in some cases if patients were to receive proper guidance they should see an urologist for proper diagnosis and treatment of the ailment.

“You will be surprised to know that I was married for five years without a child and it was when I started training in urology that I realised I needed to have surgical operation before I have a child.

“The surgery did not last an hour and we have had six pregnancies in six years with four children. I never did IVF.

“People do not know this and they see the wrong doctor; the doctor that is supposed to attend to them may not be available or some of them are not aware of the kind of doctor to visit.

“Even some doctors do not know the right doctor to refer the patients to because they may have attended a medical school where no urologist was present hence they did not know what a urologist did.”

The consultant urologist noted that the FCT and Lagos had the highest concentration of urologists in Nigeria with 10 currently practising in each state.

According to him, some states do not have any urologist while others only have one or two.

“You will be surprised to know that the Republic of Niger and Chad does not even have one urologist.”

He said that currently, urology was not accredited in many teaching hospitals which discouraged those seeking to go into the medical field from doing so.

“Urology is not accredited in many teaching hospitals because there are not enough specialists in the area. You need to have at least four specialists in any hospital before that hospital received accreditation.

“Since many hospitals do not have accreditation a lot of doctors who may want to pick interest in this area get discouraged so they choose another area.

“This is part of the reason some Nigerians prefer to go abroad for treatment rather than receive medical attention in the country.

“The challenge of practising urology in Nigeria is lack of training and insufficient equipment.

“Most government hospitals do not have the equipment to perform some of the surgeries that the private hospitals have been doing.

“When there is not enough equipment in hospitals it makes it unattractive for patients to attend such hospitals.

“And when you do not have enough people to train you do not also have enough people picking interest in that area.”

He said that like all branches of surgery, urology was highly technological, adding that the world over, most urological surgeries were done without cutting the patient open.

He said that Kelina hospital was currently trying to achieve the fit.

According to the consultant urologist, at the moment over 80 per cent of the surgeries done in Kelina are carried out without cutting the body open.

He said that over 50 per cent of patients were discharged the same day after surgery, stating that over 70 per cent of the patients resumed their meals same day after surgery.

The consultant urologist advised that even though the cost of treatment in private hospitals was more than government hospitals people should ensure they get proper diagnosis for their ailment.

He also said that although the Federal Government was battling with various problems in different sectors, the health sector needed top attention, urging it to review the health bill. (NAN)

•Photo shows stethoscope.

Source: News Express

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