Fake doctors have been arrested in Cross River State for performing surgeries in Ogoja LGA of the state.
This was disclosed at a news conference by Dr. David Ushie, the Special Adviser to Governor Ben Ayade on Health Matters and the Chairman of the Cross River State Task Force on Quackery and Related Violations in the Healthcare Delivery System, in Calabar on Monday.
He said the task force got information about the illegal activities of the fake doctors at the Aladim community in Ogoja LGA, stormed the community, and arrested the suspects.
Ushie said, “I received a tip-off concerning activities of some ‘wonder surgeons’ in Aladim community of Ogoja LGA.
“My team left Calabar by 12:30 am of September 8, 2022, to ensure the offenders did not escape as they usually did.
“We immediately contacted the Chairman of Council, Hon Emmanuel Ishabor and the DPO of Ogoja Area Command, Supol Horsfall, who both confirmed the incident.”
He said the task force was taken to the Health Center at Aladim, where the crime was allegedly committed.
“After a full day interviews and facility assessment, we made the following discoveries: There were 10 patients on admission. Nine of the ten patients had eleven ‘surgeries’,
“Amongst the nine, three patients had four ‘surgeries’ for ‘hernia’. The majority of the seven had ‘surgeries’ for ‘appendectomies’. One patient had two surgeries’ for ‘appendix’ and ‘hernia’.”
He added, “At least five of the 11 surgeries were clearly recognisable as superficial skin cuts giving patients the false sense that they had surgery (-ies).
“At least six persons conspired in these fake surgeries, and they carried out ‘surgical operations’ on all nine.”
He added that one of the suspects carried out an ultrasound scan and works with Life First. Life First is located in Okuku, Yala LGA and is owned by Dr Augustine Adugba, a medical practitioner.
He said Dr Augustine Adugba and others allegedly facilitated the activities after the April 2022 meeting at Health Centre Aladim where the community allegedly agreed to carry out the fake surgeries.
The suspects are now in police custody after some went underground and trailed.
He said that the patients treated by the quack doctors had been moved to the Ogoja General Hospital for better treatment.
Ushie also stated that in September 2020 and before the recent incident, the task force had responded to 22 reports, arrested seven violators, and closed down 13 healthcare facilities on account of various violations of the regulatory laws.