Nigerian Medical Association (NMA) has advocated life imprisonment for quacks [quack - an untrained person who pretends to be a physician and dispenses medical advice and treatment; a charlatan] as means of stamping out quackery in the medical profession.
President of the NMA, Osahon Enabulele, said this in an interview in Abuja on Sunday.
He advised governments at all levels to take the issue of quackery very seriously, saying it was endangering the lives of Nigerians.
He also urged Nigerians to work closely with the NMA in its bid to put an end to quackery.
Enabulele said, "With respect to the issue of quackery, the NMA more than any other organisation has been challenging the people of Nigeria to partner with it to ensure that issues of quackery are seen as things consigned to the dustbin of history.
"In 2012, for the first time in recent times, a professional organisation like the NMA disciplined its own member and made it known to the public as a way of letting the public know that we can no longer do things the old ways.
"We call for life imprisonment for quacks because they are doing harm to the people of Nigeria. Anybody who plays with the lives of Nigerians does not deserve any compassion."
Enabulele said although efforts were made by the NMA through proposals sent to the Federal Government to tackle quackery, more needed to be done.
He said quackery constrained the practice of medicine in 2012 and enjoined Nigerians to collaborate with the NMA in its fight against quackery.
He said, "I must confess that we had challenging times in 2012. We hope that in 2013, we’ll be able to drive some new-found realities and ensure that there is much more progress."
The NMA president said the call to stamp out quackery was not for government alone, adding that Nigerians should work closely with the association to be able to achieve meaningful growth.