The Nigerian Association of Dermatologists (NAD) is the umbrella body for all specialists in the care of the skin, hair, nail and sexually transmitted diseases. NAD meets annually to brainstorm on related topical issues.
This year’s scientific conference and Annual General Meeting held at the conference centre of the Obafemi Awolowo University Teaching Hospital Complex, Ile-Ife. The preconference workshop took place on June 26, 2018 with the theme ‘Practical Dermatology’, where various dermatological procedures were taught, with attendant hands-on sessions in cryotherapy, electrocautery, and appropriate skin biopsy techniques alongside clinicopathological correlation.
The scientific sessions held between June 27-29th, 2018 with enriching plenary and parallel sessions on topical areas of Dermatology which included presentations on papulosquamous diseases; gender related issues in Dermatology; acne and pilosebaceous gland disorders; dermatological point of view on ageing; sexually transmitted infections; and tropical cutaneous infections with specific emphasis on emerging and neglected tropical skin diseases.
Opening ceremony took place on the 28th of June, 2018 with the following in attendance - His Excellency Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola the Executive Governor of Osun State, ably represented by Dr Rafiu Isamotu the Honourable Commissioner for Health, the keynote Speaker, His Excellency Dr Olusegun Mimiko (former Governor of Ondo State) ably represented by Prof Oluwatosin who spoke on the topic ‘Skin advocacy: the role of arts, culture and media’ with focus on the good and harmful cultural skin practices . A skin care raffle draw also took place with winners getting items such as laptop, android tablet, android phone and other consolation prizes.
The following observations were made:
- The disproportionate number of specialist dermatologists in Nigeria with about 81 dermatologists serving a population of 198 million people (ratio of 1:2.4million).
- The harmful effects of skin bleaching practices with rising patronage by Nigerians and the unregulated sale and increasing availability of controlled skin bleaching agents.
- The identification of Neglected Tropical Diseases (NTD) in dermatologic practices in Nigeria.
The NAD notes with dismay the absence of Dermatologists in the relevant committees saddled with the responsibility of assisting the World health organization (WHO) achieve its goal of reducing and/or eradicating NTD.
Majority of NTD have skin manifestations and close to half can be diagnosed by their characteristic cutaneous features. These cutaneous manifestations are largely responsible for the morbidity, stigmatization, social isolation, and psychosocial impact of these diseases.
The role of the dermatologists in ensuring early and accurate diagnosis, effective management, and eventual control of NTD cannot be over-emphasized, thus if the goal of reducing the burden of NTD is to be achieved, dermatologists must be at the forefront of such programmes
- Lack of dermatologic services in rural and sub-urban communities. The dermatologic needs of rural communities in Nigeria have not been met due to the virtual absence of dermatology care in these communities.
- *Absence of dermatologic coverage under the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS). Despite the fact that a third of visits to the general practitioner and medical outpatient departments in hospitals are skin related.*
- The emergence and re-emergence of infections like leprosy, scabies, leishmaniasis, buruli ulcer, and deep mycoses, as shown in numerous reports by conferees from various zones of the country. The attendant morbidity and increased burden of these diseases on the healthcare system is enormous.
- Encourage and train dermatologists and other support staff.
Need to increase interest in dermatology by continuous sensitization of students and residents about the scope and range of the specialty.
- To ensure unrelenting advocacy and increased public enlightenment by dermatologists on the menace of skin bleaching.
Government needs to enforce the regulations on the use and illegal sale of skin bleaching/lightening agents.
- Dermatologists in collaboration with other medical workers should increase surveillance and reporting of NTD at the Local, State, and Federal levels.
Need for partnership between dermatologists and other relevant stakeholders such as the FMoH, NTBLP and NGO like GLRA, etc, to increase the ease of identification of relevant Skin NTD.
Need for involvement of dermatologists at all stages of programmes targeted at the control, elimination, and/or eradication of NTD, including policy making, programme development, planning, implementation, monitoring and evaluation.
Dermatologists to also assist in training competent hands in the identification, diagnosis and management of these diseases.
Increased government and donor funding for disease surveillance, research and treatment protocols for NTD.
- Improve access to dermatologic care by rural communities through:
- Frequent outreach programs by dermatologists;
- Training of general practitioners resident in the communities on the diagnosis and treatment of common skin diseases;
- Provision of requisite infrastructure and incentives to enhance dermatologic care in rural areas.
- Development of Teledermatologic services;
- Government must provide adequate funding to enable the implementation of the above programmes.
- Inclusion of dermatologic services in the NHIS.
- To increase surveillance and notification of emerging infectious diseases to relevant agencies and encourage data sharing among dermatologists.
His Excellency Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola, the Executive Governor of Osun state;
His Excellency Dr Olusegun Mimiko the keynote speaker;
His Excellency Prince Olagunsoye Oyinlola the Special guest of honour;
The Chief Medical Director of Obafemi Awolowo Teaching Hospitals Complex Ile Ife for hosting us.
The NAD executives and the Local organising Committee for an excellent job done.
Long live the National Association of Dermatologists
Long live Federal Republic of Nigeria
Dr G.C. Okudo Dr C.Onyekonwu
President. Secretary General