July 2016 DailyTrust; 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.”