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Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Two Fake Doctors Nabbed in Akwa Ibom, Kwara State

By: Inimesit Akpan-Nsoh (UYO), Biodun Fagbemi (ILORIN)
A TEAM of Medical and Dental Council of Nigeria and the State Security Service, Tuesday in Uyo, Akwa Ibom State, sealed off Sahaf Eye Specialist Clinic and arrested its operator Husseini Arugaya, a.k.a Dr. A.M. Arugaya.
  Arugaya, who refused to tell journalists where he trained as a medical doctor, operated the eye clinic at 20 Afaha Ube Street, Uyo. He is alleged to have been on the wanted list of the council as well as the SSS following complaints by a former patient who went blind after receiving treatment from his clinic.

In a letter dated April 11, 2013 written by one Ndarake Akpe entitled: “Protest against operation of quack eye clinic by Dr A. M. Augaya,” addressed to the Akwa Ibom State Commissioner for Health and copied to the state Chairman of Nigerian Medical Association (NMA) and security agencies, he alleged that the said doctor willfully destroyed his right eye.
  “I was attended to by Arugaya on July 26, 2011 and after that I have not seen with my right eye again and further checks in India showed that Arugaya, who operated on my eye, had completely destroyed my eye,” the letter reads.
 Explaining how the fake doctor was arrested, the   Head of Department, Inspectorate – Medical and Dental Council of Nigeria, Dr. Okwuokenye Henry, said a good Nigerian called him on telephone that there was a patient who became blinded after receiving treatment from the clinic
  According to him, the operator of the clinic gave the patient impossible conditions in order to absolve himself of blame.
  “A good Nigerian put a call across to us that there is a patient who had been blinded by the practice of Arugaya. I asked him to put the matter in writing. He sent a protest to our office, saying that he went to the clinic for treatment and his eyes were blinded.”
 “He gave them very strange conditions, like not to bend down for five days, don’t look down for 28 days, don’t sleep in the afternoon for one month, and don’t lie on your left or right. If you don’t obey, what you see is what you will take, as if to cover him.”
  “But what gave him the impunity to reopen the hospital or the clinic after it had been sealed is still a shock to me. Quickly I came over here, liaised with the ministry because he was elusive as he has branches in Port Harcourt, Calabar and Eket, apart from this one.” 
  “But through intelligence network, we have been able to discover that Arugaya has specific days that he runs these clinics. These make him to be very elusive.” 
 “We have been around for almost five days trying to pin him down to this place, but this morning with the SSS we have been able to clamp down on him”, he said.
  Director, Medical Services, Dr. Comfort Archibong, said the clinic had been sealed up in 2009 with the signpost removed to the store in the Ministry of Health
  Archibong, who spoke on behalf of the Commissioner of Health, Mr. Ememabasi Bassey said, the victim located the fake “hospital” through the advertisements the clinic placed on a local radio station.
  She urged the media houses in the state to pass health advertisements through the state Ministry of Health for vetting before publication.
  “I am appealing to media houses to work with the ministry. We had sent letters to all media houses in the state when the clinic was closed down requesting that all health advertisements be screened by the Ministry of Health.
  Earlier, Dr. Arugaya, admitted treating the patient, adding that, the patient’s blindness was caused by his inability to follow specific instructions.
  According to him, his arrest and the sealing of his business premises by MDCN and the SSS was the handiwork of his enemies.
    In a related development, the Kwara State Police Command yesterday paraded a 31- year-old fake medical practitioner in Ilorin.
  The alleged fake medical doctor’s name was given as Oroware Omololu Adebayo. He hails from Owo, Ondo state.
  Parading the suspect at the state command headquarters, spokesperson of the command, Femi Fabode alleged that the man has since 2012 been parading himself as a medical practitioner around Tanke in the metropolis.
  The police, along with some members of the state branch of the NMA, arrested the suspect last week Friday in the state capital, it was gathered.
  Fabode said: “He has been parading himself as a trained medical practitioner. When he was arrested he presented some forged University of Ilorin certificates. He confessed to the police that he is a fake doctor but he had been practising as a medical doctor attending to patients since last year somewhere in Tanke area of Ilorin. He will be prosecuted according to the law.”
  “I urge people to look for lawful means of livelihood rather than feigning to be what they are not. Only God knows the number of people who have fallen victims of this man.”
  “The NMA Kwara State branch informed the police about the activities of this man so as not to spoil the name of the association, he said.”
  Fielding questions from reporters, the suspect said: “As medical laboratory scientists, people around ignorantly call us medical doctors because of the lab coats we usually put on. Sometimes having handled the test of my patients I refer them to the medical doctors to handle their cases.”
  “I did not have the requisite qualification to practice and I am also armed with fake University of Ilorin certificates. I don’t give ingestion but I consult. I am a product of Health Technology, Offa, Offa Local Council of Kwara state.”
  “My advice for people is to be contented with what they have. I am regretting my action. I did not record any loss of lives,” he said.

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