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Dearth of neurosurgeons hits Nigeria; only 25 brain specialists available

By Victoria Ojeme

A consultant neurosurgeon, Dr. Biodun  Ogungbo, has lamented the dearth of neurosurgeons in  the country, with only 25 brain specialists available for 140 million Nigerians.

He stated that  the concentration of brain specialists  in only the city centres  has led to the high rate of deaths resulting from brain damage in accidents, particularly outside the cities.

Ogungbo, who spoke in Abuja, at a conference to mark the brain awareness week, also blamed the high rate of deaths from brain damage due to improper accident rescue procedure by untrained personnel, outside officials of the Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC).

“There are only 25 neurosurgeon for 140 million Nigerians and most of them are found only in city centres, and only the universities of Lagos, Ibadan and Sokoto are authorised to train doctors in the area of neurosurgeon,” he said.

He remarked that there should be brain scanners in all the strategic hospitals to detect areas affected in the brain during accidents, stressing that, at the moment, only Garki Hospital, National Hospital and State House Clinic, Abuja, have brain scanners.

“Brain injuries need air wave, oxygen, please, call FRSC officials to respond to accident scenes, don’t pull them out of the car, this affects  spinal cord, secondary injury sustained in efforts to pull out victims is the one killing victims and not the actual brain infections of the accident”, he said.

Ogungbo said efforts were on-going to create centres for brain scanners across the country to save more lives.

He advised government to look into the area of training more doctors in the area so that their services can be extended to the rural areas who suffer brain damage.

Earlier, Mr. Aide Okuonghea, an information officer, at FRSC, had said the corps marshal had introduced  a call system (0700 call FRSC) to respond to accident scene within four  minutes which saves a lot of damage to accident victims.


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