Interview:Health Sector In Taraba Needs Restructuring - Surgeon

Dr. Misaunu Micheal Ayedima, is a Consultant General Surgeon with the Jos University Teaching Hospital (JUTH). He was in, Taraba State recently with his team to train doctors and nurses of the Specialist Hospital, Jalingo, on howw to operate and maintain the laparoscopy endorscoping machines that have been lying fallow in the hospital. He spoke to newsmen after the training. Janet Audu was there. Excerpts:

May we know your mission in Taraba State and where you are coming from?
I work in Jos University Teaching Hospital. I came with some medical team to train the resident doctors here at the Specialist Hospital, Jalingo, on how to operate these machines that have been lying here for some years, to help them utilise the equipment they have; we are supervising them while they are operating the equipment, so that even in our absence, they can be able to operate these machines on their own.

What is this training for; I mean what is the training all about?
This training is for endorscopy, it's the procedure that enables us to see inside the intestine to see if there is any kind of wound; many times you hear people talk about ulcer, pains inside their stomach, most of the investigations we do without endorscopy is just assumption. This is the only equipment that enables us to know if a patient has ulcer or not.

With this equipment on ground in this hospital do you think they are up to standard?
This equipment has been here for long. I have been privileged to be here once, and why they have not be utilise is because there was no manpower training and the management has taking this initiative to train its own manpower. Taraba is far from everywhere, so they embarked on training their people to enable them operate and maintain these multi-million naira equipment that you can't allow them to waist away like that.

With all these state-of-the-art equipment, some people in the state still travel outside the state and the country for medical solution, what do have to say here?
Well, this again is something the political class needs to address because with the little encouragement, they need to know that we virtually got almost everything we need in this country medically.

Is this training enough for the staff to be able to carry on on their own?
Well, as it is, you saw them performing it; they can, but there is need for us to come from time to time to know how they are fairing for like six weeks then wash off our hand.

How many people were you able to diagnose of having issues inside them?
We just missed something this morning, we diagnosed a couple of cases of gastritis mistaken for ulcer, and then we saw someone with a turmoil which we have diagnosed too; so I think out of the 48 we have done we have positive diagnosis in 10.

Can endorscopy be done on children?
Yes, it can be done on children in fact, we have two scope here that can be use on children from the age of five and above, because before the age of five you may not get the needed cooperation from that age, you need a child that you can communicate with.

With this development, what is your advice to the management of this hospital on how to maintain this equipment?
The way it is, we have succeeded in getting these equipment functional, they have been available and operational but we have not put them to use; the training is a comprehensive one, the nurses have already been trained even though we came with our own team to further strengthen them, so equipment maintenance is not a problem and while we are here, we got referrals from Yola and other states around for the same procedures. I was wondering how they got the information about that; that means that this hospital is rising to becoming true specialist hospital, this is what should be encouraged.

The numbers of those being trained, how are they responding to the training, I mean are you satisfied, do you see them taking over the place when you leave?
We have doctors; initially, we have six doctors, at end of the training we have four that we certified on this job; and we have six nurses on ground that we are very comfortable with. Even before we came, as far as instrument maintenance is concerned they have been maintaining the instruments. I don't have any doubt that if we leave they can maintain it. If you witnessed, I don't touch the scope; I was just watching while they are operating it.

Are you not scared that the participants after being equipped with this skillful training may decide to leave the hospital for greener pasture somewhere?
I think the health sector in Taraba State actually needs some restructuring because people are being paid better salaries elsewhere in the country, there is a new salary scale for medical workers, and I think that should be looked into. We are running a true specialist hospital here; in another five years we expect that you should be running a residency programme here which will cater for the health needs of the people of the state, including the local governments. If you don't do that I am scared you may continue to lose your staff, am sorry about that.

- Daily Trust

Social Media
  just click 

Twitter: @TarabaFacts
 Instagram: @tarabafacts