The Bayelsa State Police Command has arrested a 40-year-old man, Tari Ogede, for impersonating as a medical practitioner in Angiama, Southern Ijaw Local Government Area.
The Permanent Secretary, Bayelsa Ministry of Health, Dr. Oluwatoyin Azebi, who made this known in Yenaoga shortly after her visit to the State Criminal Investigation Department (CID), Police Headquarters, said the suspect was arrested on December 31, 2022.
Dr. Oluwatoyin, frowned at the increased rate of quackery in the medical profession and its health implications for the people of the state, noting that the trend is not only illegal but dangerous as it has caused a number of maternal and child mortality cases and other deaths.
The Permanent Secretary condemned the act of persons carrying out various medical activities without the requisite qualifications, especially in the action of Tari, whose effort to carry out a cesarean section on a young pregnant girl in December 25, 2022, has led to the death of the baby and damages caused to the young girl.
“I am surprised… Somebody that does not even have up to secondary level of education was found involved in trying to do a cesarean section for a 15-year-old girl, eventually cut the lady and was not able to go on with the surgery and also killed the baby,” she said.
According to her, the activities of quackery in the medical profession is a matter of serious concern, stressing that such actions is capable of bringing the noble profession to the mud, and government would no longer ignore the illicit medical practices.
“Any of the perpetrators that is caught will be made to face the law, I’m just coming from the State (CID); we will ensure that this person is prosecuted accordingly. We are not going to take this nonsense from any one of them again,” she added.
Dr. Oluwatoyin also used the medium to advise those massaging to always ensure that they refer patients to the appropriate hospitals or clinics for immediate remedy when cases are beyond their knowledge, rather than proceeding in their illicit method.
Also speaking, the Director of Medical Services, Ministry of Health and immediate past Chairman of the Nigeria Medical Association (NMA) Bayelsa Chapter, Dr. Ngowari Torunana, described the action of the quack as atrocious and cruel, noting that the injuries suffered by the young girl were severe, expressing fears of long-term complications because of the infringement done on her organs, including a cut on her bladder, rectum, and virgina, as she was still anemic in the hospital.
The Director expressed in strong terms the stand of the Ministry to prosecute anyone caught in such act, pointing out that the prosecution and conviction of Tari would serve as a deterrent to others, and advised those craving to bear the name Doctor and carrying out the services to seek formal education to acquire the requisite knowledge for the job.
The Police Public Relations Officer, Bayelsa State, SP Asinim Butswat, who confirmed the arrest, said the suspect has been arraigned before the court and is in police custody.
The PRO warned quack medical doctors to desist from the act, stating that no one found would be spared.
He added that if the accused is convicted, he would be the second person sentenced for the same crime in recent time.
Mr. Tari Ogede hails from Amassoma in Southern Ijaw Local Government of the state.