The Nasarawa State Government said it has raided and sealed 42 clinics and medical laboratories in various parts of Karu Local Government Area of the state not registered with the Ministry of Health.
According to the Punch Newspaper, this disclosure was made on Saturday by the state’s Commissioner for Health, Daniel Iya, who led a team of inspectors during the operation.
He said the sealing of the affected medical centres was necessary so as to stem the proliferation of illegal hospitals, clinics and laboratories, which he said posed a serious danger to citizens, in the state.
Mr. Iya expressed worry over the proliferation of illegal health facilities in the Karu Local Government Area of the state, adding that any health practitioner who wanted to operate in the state must follow the due process.
PREMIUM TIMES had reported the shutting down of 126 illegal health facilities in the same Karu Local Government two year ago.
The 126 health facilities were shut down after a thorough investigation and discovery that they never had any formal registration and as such had no operational licenses. None of them paid their taxes to the state government.
Mr. Iya, a medical doctor, noted that the state ministry of health would not relent in its effort to curb illegality in the health sector.
Reacting to the proliferation of illegal health centres in the country, Henry Ewunonu, a medical doctor in Abuja, told PREMIUM TIMES that the trend has put the nation’s health sector in disrepute.
Mr. Ewunonu said Nigeria does not have the man power to self-regulate its health sector.
“In this same Nasarawa, a man running a clinic was said to have transfused a 6-year-old boy with HIV infected blood. This clinic was illegal, unregistered or registered with forged papers. Now, this boy now has HIV and when an investigation was conducted it was discovered that the donor of the blood also has HIV. The menace of quackery is in high and low places in this country.
“The best practice is that a clinic, a health post, health centre, pharmacy, hospital etc. should be defined under its mandate as what it should be. Patent medicine vendors should stick to their mandate. They should not use injections because they are not authorized to do so. In Nigeria, even a chemist is measuring people’s blood pressure and administrating all sorts of drugs. They have side rooms where they do consultations, they are not empowered to do so,” Mr. Ewunonu said.
He proposed that health should be removed from the concurrent list and put in the exclusive list to ensure proper regulation of the sector.