Fake Healthcare Workers Apprehended in Rivers- Official

Three suspected fake healthcare workers on an unauthorized medical mission in Asarama, a Community in Andoni local government area in Rivers have been apprehended by the Police.

Dr Dagogo Theophilus, Medical Director, of the council said that the unauthorized team had carried out Appendicitis and Hienia surgical operations on seven patients before they were apprehended.

“We were informed of an illegal medical mission in Asarama Community and upon investigation, the Council Chairman, Mr Erastus Awortu, instructed the Police (JTF) to arrest the suspects involved in the mission.

“Unfortunately, we found two of the suspects who said they were Auxiliary Nurses working with two Medical Doctors on the mission.

“”For some unexplained reasons, they have been in the Community since last month, January 17 and we didn’t know about it,” Dagogo said.

He explained that the suspects only obtained permission by the Community Development Chairman (CDC) of Asarama upon request to carry out humanitarian service to the people.

He also added that neither the CDC nor the Asarama council of chiefs informed the medical personnel domiciled in the area.

“There’s usually a protocol for every genuine medical mission by recognized Non-governmental organisations (NGOs), such organisations were expected to apply to the Commissioner for Health through the Director of Health of the particular local government area.

“The council Chairman is also expected to be aware too but these people didn’t follow any of these official procedures and they had already carried out surgical operations on about seven patients before they were intercepted,” he said.

The Medical Director also said that the Doctor who performed the surgery has since been apprehended by the police in Bori, headquarters of neighbouring Gokana local government area

“Further investigation revealed that the Chief suspect, Dr Patrick Effiong, was not even a medical personnel but an unqualified health worker who had been following professional medical doctors for outreaches and apparently picked up the skills to carry out few surgeries.

“We immediately ensured the patients were seen and given proper medical attention by the doctor in the Asarama Primary Healthcare Center and so far they’re responding to treatment, we have not had any untold incident or life loss in the cause of the mission.

“But the truth is that the organization was unlicensed and also operating with quacks and unqualified health personnel that’s why they were handed over to the police,” he added.

The medical director also warned the public against subjecting themselves to health risks.

“Surgical operations are not carried out even in the Primary Healthcare facility, it’s only the Secondary facility that undertakes such.

“Sadly, the General Hospital which is the only facility where surgeries can be undertaken within the area is in the process of being reopened,” he said.

Meanwhile, the Council Chairman, Mr Erastus Awortu while condemning the act said the suspects have been handed over to the police for further investigation with a view to uncovering their true intention.

He urged the people in area council to remain vigilant to avoid a reoccurrence.

The Police Public Relations Officer of the state, DSP Grace Iringi-Koko, said no report has been filled on the incidence.

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