We brazenly write (especially for our father), during funeral service – “he died after a brief illness”. How callous and insensitive.
Dr Ojum Ekeoma Ogwo
I want to start a revolution in Nigeria. A revolution I had already started in my hospital, by following the trend overseas, where all my patients’ medical records are computerised, and sent to the world wide web (www). So that at the touch of a button you could download their details, even when they visit doctors overseas.
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Yes, a real revolution against us the elites. So that we stop treating our elders as ornaments, and doctors will stop treating patients as cases. We have to show our humanity. Let me explain. An elite, will travel to their village, take his elderly father, mother or relatives, to the best hospitals in Abuja, Lagos, Aba, abroad etc. After treatment and recovery, their parents are sent back to the villages without medical records. Then if the parents unfortunately falls ill again, or becomes unconscious, they are rushed to the nearest local hospital, to doctors who had no idea, who they are, or what they are suffering from.
The doctor will now rely on second-hand-history of a maid or distant relatives to tell the medical history of our parents. Of course when they die shortly, before the doctors could figure out what was wrong with our parents. We brazenly write (especially for our father), during funeral service – “he died after a brief illness”. How callous and insensitive. Now we should concentrate on disease prevention, instead of treatment.
How do we embark on disease prevention and health promotion?
Every parent must read this. We have three categories of preventive medicine, which everyone must practice vis Primary, Secondary & Tertiary.
1) • Primary Prevention – aims to remove or reduce disease risks, example immunisations, giving up or not starting smoking, giving up or not starting excessive alcohol consumption.
2) • Secondary Prevention – these techniques promote early detection of diseases or precursor states eg routine Papanicolaou screening to detect carcinoma or dysplasia of the cervix. Lump examination or mammography to detect breast cancer.
3) • Tertiary Prevention ; These measures are aimed at limiting the impact of established diseases, examples – a) Partial mastectomy and radiation therapy, to remove and control localised breast cancer. b) Surgical removal of Benign Prostatic Hypertrophy (BPH), to prevent its becoming cancerous.
New medical rules
i) Open a medical file today, for every member of your family. The files must be kept where they must be accessible to every member of the house 24/7.
They must never be locked up.
ii) Each time any of your family is sick that necessitates seeing a doctor. Ask the doctor to write you a medical report.
Tell the doctor you are taking your child/father/mother/relative abroad for follow up treatment, so that the medical report will be comprehensive.
Put the report in the person’s file when you get home.