Lagos – A Consultant Neurosurgeon, Dr Okezie Kanu has said that at least one in every five patients in emergency wards of teaching hospitals had a neurosurgical condition.
A neurosurgical condition refers to a disorder, which affects any portion of the nervous system including the brain, spinal cord, peripheral nerves, and extra-cranial cerebrovascular system.
Kanu, who works with the Lagos University Teaching Hospital (LUTH), Idi-Araba, Lagos, told newsmen that many patients with neurosurgical problems failed to seek early medical attention due to myths, misconceptions and belief systems.
“At least, one in every five patients you meet in the emergency room of a major teaching hospital has a neurosurgical problem – sometimes three out of five.
“Awareness is there, but it could be better. We are in an environment that is affected by culture and religion.
“There are people, who have some conditions and then they believe that some witch in the village are responsible for that or it is because they did not do their sacrifices to their great grandfathers and that is why it happened, whereas those are treatable conditions, which can be taken care of in the hospital.“
Another Consultant Neurosurgeon at LUTH, Dr Tayo Ojo, told NAN that many congenital abnormalities were neurosurgical problems.
He said, “It is very common. It can be presented in the form of brain tumor, hydrocephalous, brain trauma and spine trauma.“
According to him, lack of adequate public enlightenment and limited access to neurosurgical care have made many people oblivious that they have neurosurgical problems.
He appealed to corporate organisations to fund research into neurosurgical diseases and the provision of neurosurgical facilities across the country.
Ojo said: “We neurosurgeons recently came together to establish ‘The Dele Arigbabu Neurosurgical Foundation‘ to enable us to address the neurosurgical concerns in the country.
“Neuroscience remains one area of medical practice that is still full of mystique and rapidly evolving.
“Corporate support and funding into training, research and manpower development will go a long way in addressing this problem”.