By Emeka Mamah

A paediatrics surgeon at the University of Nigeria Teaching Hospital, UNTH, Prof Sebastian Ekenze, has blamed inadequate manpower and lack of equipment for the dwindling interest in child surgery in the country.

Ekenze, indeed, lamented the inability of health care providers to give adequate priority to child surgery, saying that certain factors including culture, ignorance and poverty also, add to the problems.

He spoke shortly before delivering the 120th Inaugural Lecture at the Enugu campus of the University of Nigeria, UNN, on “New born Surgery in a Developing World: Dissecting the Gains, Challenges and Advances,” yesterday.

This was even as he further blamed the inability of medical practitioners to properly diagnose cases requiring surgery on new born babies timely.

According to him, Nigerian parents do not place expected values on their children, largely due to the fact that they bear many children and would consider it a waste of resources on any particular child would cost them a fortune.

His words, “We want to look at our challenges on the new born; what we have gained in the last decades, the ongoing challenges and how we intend to address them.

“We have conducted series of researches and our findings are quite revealing. There are some challenges that are peculiar to us that are not found elsewhere and these include late presentation (of cases of the new born babies before appropriate referral hospitals)”.

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