How God Led Me to Become a Paediatric Surgeon
Because I wanted to be a surgeon, O & G was my first love, not Oil and Gas but Obstetrics and Gynecology. I was only seeing women who were slippery in the narration of their medical history. People will come for fertility because they want babies; you will also be meeting others who don’t want babies. I then asked myself if this would be what I will be doing for the rest of my life. When I chose to do some specialist training, I prayed to God for direction, and He led me to Paediatric Surgery, which I have been involved in since 1980.
Although I have been passionate about treating children, there were few paediatricians in those days. During my younger days, we were just five in the whole country. It is just recently that membership in the Paediatric Association has risen to about 150, so we are now exerting influence. Many of us who were earlier practitioners are now Chief Medical Directors.
CHALLENGES IN PAEDIATRICS
The first is not hospital-based but based on the ignorance of the people. They don’t know that it is possible to operate on a neonate, a fetus or a toddler. People don’t know that ailments could be treated through surgery. They would beg that you give the child medicine that will cure the ailment.
The second is that children don’t have advocates who would push their cause when health and treatment is concerned. When hospitals are designed, children are not given prominence. Beds are adults’ beds, and the environment is not centred around the child etc.
Another major Challenge is the lack of facilities. Many of what we use are imported and are dependent on the vagaries of the foreign exchange, and the cost keeps rising. Nigeria produces little or nothing, and importers only bring in what hospitals can afford.
Next, the allowances and doctors’ remuneration is poor. That is why, no one can blame any young person who wishes to go in search of greener pastures for doing so. Doctors are overworked and stretched to limits
On one occasion, a newborn without an anus was brought to us at Ife. We told the father about the situation and that the child will need a procedure. The father could not believe that surgery could be possible on a newborn. When the father was told to donate blood, per-adventure there would be a need for transfusion. The man declined. He queried why he should donate blood for a child that does not even have a name, that if the child had planned to live, he should have come with all its organs intact. The mother cried profusely, and we took compassion on her, decided to shame the man and carried out the surgery.
These challenges are still with us. Outreaches that we are conducting as a professional association are helping us to overcome some of the problems.
The Adejugbes are a family of academics and professionals in various fields. His elder brother, Professor Omolade Adejugbe was a former dean of Social Science and later the Director, Consultancy Services Centre, Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife , 1986.
Professor Olusanya Adejuyigbe is happily married to Professor Ebunoluwa Adejuyigbe of Department of Paediatrics and Child Health, Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife and blessed with children.
“Many of what we use are imported and are dependent on the vagaries of the foreign exchange, and the cost keeps rising.”
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