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#QuacksInNursing, The Doctors Stamp And The Fight Against Quackery By Avalon
Date Posted: 02/Mar/2018
This is the second part of my series, the first was "Nigeria, The Nurse, Religion And Spirituality In Health Care." The feedback i got from this write up was kind of hurtfull but like they say "Truth Hurts, If You Can't Handle It Don't Search For It". Someone called me a wailer and a downer of the nursing profession but i cant be either and still be truthfull to who and what exactly makes me who i am, a proud nurse.
 
So here goes for my next article...
 
I once read an article which said that said "professionalism in the Nigerian Health sector is burdened with challenges that prevents optimization and excellence".  Every time ‘Quacks’, in the health system, make the news for one reason or another bringing the fight back to square one. Every single time such happens, Nigerian Nurses cry out to the heavens asking what exactly is going on with the profession.
 
To make matters worse, it seems differentiating a quack from a professional nurse by the public still remains a serious challenge to the profession. This is so because we all seem to wear white these days and sometimes even scrubs. 
 
A while back I got a new job in a company clinic and was so trilled when i found out we would be wearing scrubs. My first day on the job I checked myself out in the mirrow and realised i looked good in these scrubs. Walked out of my room, heading to the clinic and who do I see coming towards me, a cleaner with mop and bucket wearing the same colored scrubs as i was and looking fine in it too. I Shook as they say.
 
This just goes to show that its tough to know who is a quack when both groups wear the same uniforms. This doesnt happen only in the Nursing profession, even in the military, their uniform is being used daily by impostors who use them to rob and steal from unsuspecting members of the public.
 
Doctors Breeding Quacks Through The Training of Auxiliary Nurses Helped By Some Registered Nurses
Lets get our facts right, some doctors in collaboration with some nurses are breeding quacks through the training of auxiliary nurses and health attendants in private health institutions and facilities. Find out who trains auxiliary nurses and health attendants. When the trainees leave the setting, they spread to the communities to perpetrate illegalities.”
 
Following the OOUTH saga, after the reveal by the Crew of nurses on air that the Director of Nursing Services OOUTH runs a private clinic in collaboration with her husband who just happens to be a "wait for it, yes you guessed it" a medical doctor. The reveal had it that they train and makes use of quacks in their facility. This is a nurse who is supposed to be a leader and should be in charge of fighting against quackery in the state turning a blind eye and even going as far as making use of these killers in white.
 
A friend of mine once gave a simple solution to this menace saying "Arresting them is simple, simulate patients wearing the secret cameras to visit these private facilities where quacks are trained and investigate. When empowered, there is no way we cannot be arresting at least 100 people per day. We have been screaming that this madness should have been nipped in the bud when it was still in its infancy because the way these guys are moving in the profession they may soon box all nurses to a corner after which they will declare their their own body in the health sector."
 
On the 31st of January 2017 after the closure and arrest of the owners of a hospital called "Capricon Medical Center" in Ogun State which specialised in training of quack nurses, an article was carried by the paper "the health pilot" where the writer who identified himself as "Dr" Paul John with phone number "08083658038" went on a surprising rant against the nursing profession and making known to the whole world his stance and support on the training of #QuacksinNursing. Excepts from his article reads: 
 
"Our ears were inundated with sad news of the closure of another hospital by National Association of Nigerian Nurses and Midwives (NANNM) in Ogun state. Their reason was that the hospital was training quack nurses. What is the definition of a quack nurse? Are auxiliary nurses that are internationally recognised also among the quack nurses? Is NANNM statutorily empowered to regulate the practice of auxiliary nurses? 
 
The Act never bothered to define auxiliary nursing, the way it did not define other health professions like medicine, pharmacy, radiography et cetera hence it has no jurisdictional power over them. 
 
He also switched tracks and went on the attack against JOHESU saying: At times I wonder what constitutes JOHESU’s definition of international best practices. Internationally, nursing assistants or auxiliary nurses are recognised and that of course can never be part of their international best practices but when it comes to fighting to wrest power from medical doctors in our government hospitals, they will remember the so-called international best practices.
 
Next "Dr" Pual John went on an attack against Nurse Jude Chiedu who had threatened to sue Punch Newspaper for their defamatory articles saying: "I read in the news the other day where one clown was threatening to sue the publishers of one of our national newspapers for their “indiscriminate use of the word-nurse”. It is clear that the clown could not differentiate between a registered/staff nurse and other meanings of nurse/nursing. That means that the clown does not know the meaning of: a nursing mother; wet nurse; to nurse an idea; nursemaid; nursery nurse et cetera."
 
But on the 11th of September 2017, Alhaji Faruk Umar the Registrar, Nursing and Midwifery Council of Nigeria categorically stated that ‘All auxiliary nurses are quacks’, also saying "we don’t recognize them and they are a threat to the health of Nigerians, and the nursing profession in the country.
 
As far as we are concerned, any hospital operating with auxiliary nurses, is operating with quack nurses, because they are quacks. They are not competent, to deliver nursing care and members of the public that access services from such hospitals are doing so at their own risk. Hospitals are supposed to ensure that nurses are qualified, registered and licensed to practice as nurses.
 
The Nigerian Medical Association (NMA) in her Annual Delegates Meeting (ADM) held in April, 2017 in Calabar had approved the use of Doctors’ Stamp in all Medical Correspondences by Medical and Dental Practitioners in Nigeria. The memo shard widely amongst medical platforms said: "I am directed to inform you that, the Doctors’ Stamp will be used in all medico-legal documents and reports by doctors in both Public and Private Establishment and also in identifying doctors in the country and a way of curbing quackery in the medical profession. Consequent upon the above, you are to bring this to the attention of Medical and Dental Practitioners in your facility and enforce the use of the Doctors Stamp on all reports and Medico-legal document with effect from the 1st of April, 2018. Any document signed without the Stamp remains invalid and will not be recognized."
 
Reasons for the Doctors stamp
Its been said that the Doctors’ Stamp is coming at a time when quacks masquerading as medical doctors are bringing disrepute to their profession and the NMA took this stand to nip the problem in its bud touting this as a method making one thing certain to all "#QuacksInMedicine should be ready to change job soonest".
 
What exactly is the DOCTORS STAMP?
The Nigerian Doctors’ Stamp is not like every other stamp used in business or official settings. Its said to be so detailed it carries the NMA’s logo, contains the name of the practitioner, identification number, year of joining the profession and other security features, which could only be seen through ultraviolet light and is always protected like one of the 7 wonders of the world by the practitioner who has it.
 
A DOCTORS’ STAMP – THE IMPLICATION
It is expected that every professional medical or dental practitioner will have a stamp to sign off any document, if not that document remains invalid. Already, with the individualistic design of the doctor stamp, it becomes easy to trace any medical decisions, problems and progress to individual doctors, making doctors more accountable and less negligent to their duties.
 
Socially, it narrows the operating field of quacks in the system and keeps them constantly looking over their shoulders if they act on any patient in a hospital setting. It will be the end of some quacks, who are bold enough and who take advantage of the numerous cracks in the health system, to work in more sophisticated private or public centers (places that only the best of the best should qualify to treat and care for patients).
 
Simply put, the motive for the Doctors’ Stamp is Stamp Out Quackery in the Medical Sector. This means that procedures that are strictly meant for Medical or Dental Practitioners cannot and cannot be carried out by non professionals, even when there is a shortage of medical practitioners. This would check the penchant of some other professionals to step out of line, as a doctor’s stamp would be expected to be attached to any document for medico-legal reasons and for even documentation sake.
The stamp also would identify every doctor in Nigeria, in public and in private institutions. This would translate to the NMA being able to monitor the number of hospitals a doctor works in, the working time per day etc.
 
What A Do About Nursing In Nigeria
This week the global nursing community in colaboration with the World Health Organization made use of the hash tag #NursingNow to drive home the leadership role and indispensability of nurses around the world in relation to transforming public health services, the story back home in Nigeria is getting getting better but seems to still be a long road ahead.
 
We all know who and which group pushes for the hiring of quacks and their training, we all also know how and why we are where we are this day and why. We can all still see how these guys have stepped up to the plate to make it harder still for anyone to claim to be one of them and not be caught. We all have seen cases where once a story breaks about a quack being found out in any facility less than 48hrs later theres an article on a major paper by the NMA or a spokes person making a statement, but most times in the place of nursing and quacks out of 5 cases we might get a rebuttal to 1 case of quackery in any facility.
 
We all have to ask ourselves this: Why are we still toothless as nurses in the country?
 
Have we gotten to a stage where everyone feels that the nursing profession can not and will not take any actions against perpetrators of quackery?
 
Could the reason we are where we currently find ourselves be the simple fact that no single person has been prosecuted for the series of illegal nursing related trainings going on round the country before now?
 
Or could it be that some of our leaders who are supposed to be our representatives across the country have partially kept mute over the criminal acts of training quacks, because they are part of this problem. You might say that this statement is a lie from the deepest hells but remember that a DNS in a state has been accused of training quacks and recruiting them in her facility. Who then is supposed to lead the troops against these enemies of the profession?
 
Your guess is as good as mine
By Avalon
 
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