Stop QUACKERY

True life story…

 

       A parent were one day approached by a man who claimed to be a doctor. He studied their young boy (about 12 years of age) for a brief moment and said their son had a disease with his testicles which needed to be operated upon immediately.

 

He charged them a hefty sum of money to cut open the young lads scrotum - in their house - and did lord knows what to the young man. ‘These are supposed to be specialized areas that require specialists’ interventions’, such as urologists because of their delicate nature. 

 

        Three (3) days later, the boys parents found themselves taking their son from one health facility to another looking for a solution to the problem “the quack doctor” had caused them.

 

Spending unbelievable sums of money trying to salvage their sons testicles and fertility even as the area was severely swollen, painful and oozing pus. At which time “mr quack doctor” was probably in another part of the country having a nice time or “treating other people”.

Exploiting their victims gives quacks the means to finance their luxury lifestyle

In the hospitals the young boy was taken to in search of a solution, no doctor could even tell what motivated the fake doctor to perform surgery on the boys testes. His parents couldn't tell either. There was no justifiable reason it seemed.

 

But, what's really a shame is the boys parents gave their consent - they allowed it.

 

This although was maybe achieved through craftiness and systematic manipulation and persuasion by the quack doctor.

 

This is just an example of thousands of cases that go on in different forms everyday in Nigeria. Because, quackery has many forms.

It's Endemic

Quackery is a worldwide problem, which is to say quacks are everywhere.

 

A problem that is both exploitative, misunderstood and shrouded in deceit.

 

In the Nigerian context though, it operates on a whole new level of deceit and destructiveness. That's why stopping quackery is important and should be everyone's concern.

 

DEFINITION OF QUACKERY

 

A quack is a “fraudulent or ignorant pretender to skill” or “a person who pretends professionally or publicly to have skills, knowledge, qualifications or credentials they do not possess. They pretend to have medical skills which they don't.

Sad But True

        Quackery is the pillar of health care delivery in Nigeria’, since over 85% of the citizens rely on quacks operating chemist shops and peddling fake “chemical concoctions” to assess, diagnose, and dispense drugs to treat their every ailment.

 

Imagine surrendering your precious body which is very complex biologically as well as delicate to a completely illiterate and incompetent person. You're looking for serious trouble but don't know it.

 

         Another example is those who claim to have the herbal solution to breast enlargement, penis enlargement, hip enlargement, impotence (taking advantage of people's desperation and ignorance), spinal cord injuries among other BIG claims all of which have no actual history of success if you carry out proper investigation.

Questions Needing Answers

Why do people still patronize them despite the fact that many of them sell these ineffective “products and services” at prices even far higher than conventional treatment sometimes.

 

       Some reasons have been put forward by experts. Having understood the definition of quackery. Let's see the reasons behind its success and some hidden consequences.

Cost

There are some people who simply cannot afford conventional treatment and seek out a cheaper alternative because the cost of healthcare in this country is not just HIGH but beyond reach.

 

Non-conventional practitioners can often dispense treatment at a much lower cost.

 

This is made worse by a reduced access to health care especially in developing countries as Nigeria.

Regression Falacy

People lack understanding that health conditions change and improve with no treatment.This  has led many to attribute changes in ailments to a given therapy (even if it's totally fake).

 

This happens a lot in Nigeria and is a typical reason people patronize quacks and peddlers of ineffective alternative therapies.

 

They feel, if it worked for me once it must be perfect for all situations without realizing that ailments regress spontaneously at times.

 

Even malaria subsides on it's own many times and this is particularly true of many viral infections such as chicken pox. 

Fraud

           Some practitioners, fully aware of the ineffectiveness of their medicine are the same ones who knowingly promote these treatments.

 

They are the type seen all over the streets on every nook and cranny who are very aggressive marketers and put up theatrical shows and drama to attract buyers to their stands where they sell false and unproven health schemes for huge profits.

 

           A red flag is when people hawk tree barks, stems, roots and seeds and anything inbetween in bottles claiming it can treat HIV, Syphilis, Diabetes, Rheumatism, Pile, Gonorrhea, Hypertension, Cancer e.t.c. - sometimes the list is endless.

 

This is impossible and definitely is a scam - one concoction treating all the diseases that has bamboozled scientists for ages yet still people fall for the lies and subscribe to it.

 

        The risk here is that patients choose to forego treatments that are more likely to help them in favour of ineffective treatments.

 

The success of these scams is linked to the public who lack complex health care knowledge and are left with only the choice of trusting the provider. They made the mistake when they chose to trust their lives to just anyone.

 

        What is really awful is that some people feel that certain other people selling herbal remedies automatically means they care about your health... THEY DON'T !!!

 

They are hustlers who will hustle anything... THEY KNOW NOTHING ABOUT YOUR BODY MECHANISM AND DON'T CARE AS LONG AS YOU BUY THEIR DRUGS.

People can go to any length to take your money unlawfully

True story here…

       There was this sad case of a diabetic man who usually patronized a herbal concoction vendor on a regular basis. He must have been referred there by someone possibly more ignorant than himself or had heard the hyped out marketing of the vendor himself.

 

Anyway, he chose to opt for the concoctions instead of conventional diabetes treatment - which have been seeing people of all races through diabetes management for ages.

 

Long story short…

 

        On this fateful day after spending a pretty good time at his favorite herbal, joint drinking glass after glass of alcohol mixed drink. He felt it was about time he left for home at which point he got into his car, started the engine and made to drive off. He had not gone beyond the gate of the premises when he collapsed on his steering wheel and took his last breath.

 

The tragic nature of the incident triggered an inquest, and it was discovered that this herbal vendor mixed the drinks with conventional diabetes medicine Daonil in very high doses. Daonil is a long acting hypoglycemic tablet (reduces blood sugar) that could drop your blood glucose level to dangerous levels if not monitored. The victim didn't stand a chance as Daonil is a very powerful drug.

 

Goes to show the extent people will go to be fraudulent, and that's exactly what a lot of quacks do. Tweak their products with ingredients that are poisons in high doses. Either to give it a distinctive taste that will make you come back for more or stir up a feeling within you that screams it's working - like adding a laxative to “malaria medicine” to make you purge and shit your intestines out.

 

Should you ever go back complaining of the stools, they’ll reply with confidence, oh, you are stooling out the parasites - which means the medicine is effective.   The question to ask is does one stool out malaria parasites?   Why would they do a thing like that? Mix their products with conventional medicines which they portray as inferior to their own products which are the actual fakes.

Ignorance

Those who perpetuate quackery may do so to take advantage of ignorance about conventional medical treatments versus alternative treatments, this is most likely the case. Or maybe they themselves are ignorant regarding their own claims as is the case sometimes in Nigeria.

 

         The syndicate producing these "ineffective concoctions" are locked up in an apartment somewhere but recruit jobless marketers who aggressively peddle their wares.

 

Mainstream medicine has produced many remarkable advances too, so people may tend to also believe groundless claims as long as it promises better health. They don't have time to verify the claim.

Fear of Side Effects

        A great variety of pharmaceutical medications can have very distressing side effects, and many people fear surgery and its consequences.

 

So they may opt to shy away from these mainstream treatments.

 

This has resulted in bad consequences for a lot of people in the past as these people often times are redirected back to the same medical interventions they ran from.  Of course when it's too late to save them.

 

          Very common in breast cancer, hypertension and diabetic patients. These are chronic and progressive diseases that require early detection and prompt viable intervention to avert a very likely future catastrophic event.

In diabetes

Many come to the hospital when a limb (leg) just has to be removed to save their lives. Typically their diabetes has resulted in a sore on their foot which refused to heal and which has gotten the whole leg from the knee downwards gangrenous (rotten).

 

Take note that before a tiny injury no more than a scratch progresses to overtake a whole leg. It didn't happen overnight.

 

They must have underrated - out of ignorance - the destructive nature of diabetes. Relying on a chemist shop operator who doesn't know d pathophysiology (the way the disease affects a healthy body) of diabetes to treat the injury, usually for several months before s(he) backs out or runs due to a lack of improvement in the leg.

Mr Thomas' diabetic foot

Mismanaged by a chemist shop for 3 months

Mr Thomas' diabetic foot

Mismanaged by a chemist shop for 3 months

Let's visit the doctors...“let's give them a trial”...

To the hospital they go.

 

          By this time, this has already resulted in a severe gangrene related septicemia (poisoning of the blood by bacteria) that will definitely take the patient's life except the leg responsible for the poisoning is ablated (cut off).

 

Only useful if done early while their lives can still be salvaged. They again manage to get persuaded by an ‘ignorant relative’ that the problem is spiritual having only a spiritual solution.

 

Over to the herbalist's house they go at full speed.

 

        Spend more huge sums of money on ineffective treatments - out of desperation of course. They sometimes come back to their senses at the last hour after realizing that the herbalists doesn't know what he's doing and rush the patient back to the hospital at such times when the patient is already taking their last breath.

 

Having exhausted their pockets on quack services many tend to even want physicians to perform magic on the sick at this point. But it's impossible! The patient may give up the ghost sooner or later if the relatives can't provide money for his care after spending all their money elsewhere.