Part­ner with govt on MRI in hos­pi­tals, RRBN urges

Daily Trust - - NEWS/HEALTH - By Ojoma Akor

The Regis­trar and Chief Ex­ec­u­tive Of­fi­cer of the Ra­dio­g­ra­phers Reg­is­tra­tion Board of Nige­ria (RRBN), Mr Michael Ok­paleke, has called on the pri­vate sec­tor and wealthy Nige­ri­ans to part­ner with the fed­eral govern­ment to make Mag­netic Res­o­nance Imag­ing (MRI) ma­chines and its ser­vices avail­able to Nige­ri­ans.

MRI is a non in­va­sive med­i­cal test that physi­cians use to di­ag­nose and treat med­i­cal con­di­tions. It uses a pow­er­ful mag­netic field, ra­dio fre­quency pulses and a com­puter to pro­duce de­tailed pic­tures of or­gans, soft tis­sues, and other in­ter­nal body struc­tures.

Ok­paleke made the call dur­ing the Post Grad­u­ate Di­ploma pro­gramme in MRI spe­cialty or­gan­ised by the board for ra­dio­g­ra­phers in Abuja.

He said the in­volve­ment of the pri­vate sec­tor would make the ma­chines avail­able in more hos­pi­tals, and also en­able them get higher strength MRIs which pro­duce bet­ter images and bet­ter di­ag­nos­tic value for the pa­tients.

He said the MRI ma­chines were the most ex­pen­sive imag­ing equip­ment in any ra­di­ol­ogy depart­ment, cost­ing more than Com­puted To­mog­ra­phy (CT Scan) ma­chines.They cost on the av­er­age N50 mil­lion for the small­est type or low­est grade.

Ok­paleke said to en­sure qual­ity ser­vices and in­ter­na­tional best prac­tices in ra­di­og­ra­phy in the coun­try, the board re­cently em­barked on a mon­i­tor­ing and en­force­ment ex­er­cise, adding that 10 cen­tres each were closed in Osun and Imo States.

He said the aim of the MRI train­ing was to re­train ra­dio­g­ra­phers and equip them to de­liver good di­ag­nos­tic ser­vices to pa­tients, and by so do­ing cre­ate value for them in the health in­dus­try.

A par­tic­i­pant in the course and staff of the MedicAid Ra­dio-Di­ag­nos­tics, Ka­mal Lamido, said when more ra­dio­g­ra­phers were in­volved in the MRI spe­cialty, dis­eases would be de­tected ear­lier and peo­ple would have more ac­cess to the ser­vices.

“I will ad­vise more ra­dio­g­ra­phers to un­der­take this course be­cause both the num­ber of MRIs and MRI ra­dio­g­ra­phers in the coun­try is very low, and as more cen­tres are try­ing to have MRI ma­chines, the need for ex­perts to man them rises,” he said.

The Head, Nige­rian In­sti­tute for Ra­dio­g­ra­phers, Mr Eji­mo­for Malachy, said 23 ra­dio­g­ra­phers were be­ing trained for the present MRI spe­cialty course, adding that the in­sti­tute had an arm of the RRBN charged with the re­spon­si­bil­ity of up­dat­ing pro­fes­sional knowl­edge of ra­dio­g­ra­phers.

Uchenna Dike, an MRI spe­cial­ist said it im­proved di­ag­no­sis and that health­care was hinged on proper di­ag­no­sis, adding that it was only when cases ware prop­erly di­ag­nosed that clin­i­cians would know ex­actly what the cause was and what treat­ment pro­ce­dures to take.

He said: “MRI is the lat­est tech­nol­ogy in mag­netic medicine there­fore its place in health­care man­age­ment can­not be over em­pha­sized. We have very few ex­perts and so the essence of the train­ing is to in­crease the num­ber of MRI ex­perts in Nige­ria.”

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