Orthopaedic surgeons decry high rate of musculoskeletal tumour among Nigerians

By Aderogba George
The Nigerian Orthopaedic Association has lamented the high rate of musculoskeletal tumour among Nigerians, saying it is a sickness people don’t pay much attention to.
The association at the opening ceremony of its 46th Annual General Meeting (AGM) and Scientific conference in Abuja on Thursday, defined
musculoskeletal tumour as a situation where cancers developed within the body tissues.
The National President of the association, Dr Muhammad Salihu, said that this situation made one to see a lot of overgrowth tissue all around the body.
Salihu added that such sickness was common among the Nigerian populace.
According to him, when you mention tumours people begin to think about breast cancer or cervical cancer, and that musculoskeletal tumour is not always mentioned because doctors are not making noise about it.
*Quite a lot of Nigerians are dying from musculoskeletal tumour we have gathered in Abuja to discuss, there are about 70 papers to be discussed all around musculoskeletal tumour and the way to go about it and the modalities of treatment.
“We want to urge government to actually put in musculoskeletal tumour as one of the tumours that will require intervention from it, not only on brain drain, breast cancer and cervical cancer, Quite a lot of Nigerians are dying even from both tumours, cervical and breast cancer.
“We hope government will come to our aid for us to be able to reduce the main menace of these tumours; having said that, we will like to reiterate that we are having a quite number of international support for this AGM.
“Companies who are producing high level materials are all here today, participating in this AGM, some of them are the ones who gave us free prosthetic that we use for surgery on some of our patients.
“Surgeons are here to brainstorm on musculoskeletal tumour and the way forward for Nigeria,” he said.
He identified some of the challenges in the management and discussions around oncology, adding that the first was to relate treatment with out patient, and that best treatment was for the patient to come early for it.
According to him, some patients don’t come early for treatment until their situation gets worst, and that some of them will have to attempt traditional way first before they will later think orthodox way.
He said that before they got doctor’s attention, the situation might have become worst, and such tumour might have metamorphosed into uncontrollable situation.
Other challenges associated with musculoskeletal tumour is the treatment.
He said the treatment of such sickness was not cheap and that quite a number of patients could not afford the money for the treatment.
According to him, the treatment of oncology is multi disciplined, which needed the assistance of pathology, radiology, and that collaboration among the professionals sometimes becomes challenge.
He, however, solicited the support of government through the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) and other stakeholders, to help in subsidising the cost of treatment for musculoskeletal tumour.
He said that government could decide to be buying materials like prosthetic and implant for the surgeons, adding that by so doing, it would help in subsidising the materials and would make the cost of the materials cheaper.
He also called on government to do something fast about brain drain being experienced in the medical field, adding that government needed to pririotise the welfare of Orthopaedic Surgeons in Nigeria, and stop the emigration of its members.
The Co-ordinating Minister of Health and Social Welfare, Prof Ali Pate, commended the surgeons over the AGM, stressing that trauma could create huge cost for the country and was now the leading cause of death, and a major contributor to disability.
Represented by the Permanent Secretary in the ministry, Mrs Kachollom Daju, Pate said that in Nigeria, patients with musculoskeletal tumour were often present at the hospital late, usually with advanced diseases and this resulted in undesired outcomes – disabilities and deaths.
According to him, it mostly affects the young population between the ages of 11-40 years, and incidentally constitutes the greater proportion of Nigeria population.
He said that the situation had direct or indirect impact in the national demography and economy.
The minister said that the Nigeria Orthopaedic Association had been a leading advocate for improving musculoskeletal tumour and trauma care in Nigeria. (NAN)