Friday, 19 June 2009

Professor Ohaegbulam

It was a pleasure and an honour to meet the highly esteemed Professor Ohaegbulam in Enugu over the past few days. I travelled by air from Abuja to Enugu on a pleasant Friday morning to visit MEMFYS neurosurgical unit, in Enugu. This is the first private neurosurgical unit and perhaps one of the better equipped and functional neurosurgical units in the country.

I have not visited many neurounits in Nigeria but reports do suggest that many are struggling to provide adequate and qualitative service to the people. Indeed many units have a severe shortage of trained nursing staff, beds and equipment. This makes the job of the local neurosurgeon doubly difficult enabling Memfys to be well positioned in providing additional support for neurosurgical services in the country.

I had a wonderful time at the hospital and met many lovely people including of course, Mrs Ohaegbulam. I was shown round the hospital and was particularly suprised to see a CERETOM mobile CT scanner in the unit. I have obtained an internet image of the scanner for you to see. Its quite compact, functional with good image copies and can be battery powered. The unit is also planning to install an MRI scanner in the near future.

Prof mentioned about his speech on the state of neurosurgery in Nigeria. This is of interest to me as I am keen to write and rewrite the history for posterity. Such publications are therefore of real benefit. The Odeku Memorial Lecture published in the African Journal of Medical Sciences (Ibadan) on the practice of neurosurgery in Nigeria is a must read for all our neurosurgeons. Please see: Ohaegbulam SC: Half a Century of Neurosurgery in Nigeria. The 13th E. Latunde Odeku Memorial lecture. Afr.J.Med.Sci. (20098) 37,293-302. Unfortunately the copy is not available online but can be obtained direct from the publishers. Or get a friend to get the journal for you as I intend to do.

My visit to MEMFYS was a very memorable and enjoyable one. The professor found time in his very busy schedule to have quite insightful conversations with me. The range of topics was quite wide and I will share some with you in the next few weeks. I was truly honoured to be in his presence and will always remember the visit fondly.

Biodun Ogungbo

Image: The CereTom CT scanner