The Islamic Medical Association of Nigeria (IMAN) held her 22nd Annual General Meeting and Scientific Conference at Mahmud Tukur Lecture Theatre, Bayero University Kano, Kano State, from the 7th to 12th September, 2021. In attendance were 877 delegates from 26 states of the Federation, and the FCT. The theme of the conference was “Improving Attitude and Adherence to Islamic Ethics in Healthcare,’’ while the subthemes were, “The Potential of Islamic Financing: (Resource Pooling and WAQF) for Healthcare Financing,”“Overcoming the Challenges of Health Workers’ Brain-drain and Medical Tourism in Nigeria: The Role of Muslim Health Workers” and “Surviving COVID-19 Pandemic: Is Vaccination the Only Way Forward.” This year’s conference wasunique in that it was a hybrid of both a physical and virtual component via Zoom platform.
The preconference activities included: the 5thaddiction prevention workshop on “Core Skills for Addiction Prevention in the Family and Community”; the 5thStudent Leadership Training on “Quality Leadership and Academic Excellence: The Inseparable Twin”; and the 3rdCooperative Symposium on “Exploring Investment Opportunity in Islamic Cooperative.” In addition, free medical and surgical outreaches were held, where over 1000 patients were treated for various medical conditions and 140 surgeries in both adult and children were conducted. The free surgical arm will continue with 100 eye cataract extraction cases.
The opening ceremony was graced by the Emir of Kano, Alhaji Aminu Ado Bayero, ably represented by Hakimin Tarauni/Dan Goruban Kano, Alhaji Abubakar Sule Gaya. In attendance were: the Vice Chancellor, Professor Sagir Abbas, ably represented by Dean Students Affair, Professor Shamsudden Usman; the Chief Executive Officer/Medical Director (CEO/MD) of Aminu Kano Teaching Hospital Kano, Professor Abdurahman Sheshe; CEO/MD of Federal Medical Centre Azare, Dr Abdullahi Ibrahim; CEO/MD of Federal Medical Centre Jalingo, Dr Aisha Adamu; CEO/MD of Rasheed Shekoni Specialist Hospital Dutse, Dr Magaji Mohammed. Also in attendance were, President of National Postgraduate Medical College of Nigeria, Ijanikin Lagos, Professor Musa Borodo; the Director of Africa Center of Excellence for Population Health and Policy, Bayero University Kano, Prof. Hadiza Galadanchi; the Director General, Kano State Hospitals Management Board, Dr Nasir Alhassan Kabo, ably represented by, the Director of Hospitals Services, Dr Abdullahi Dahiru; Former President, Pharmaceutical Society of Nigeria, Pharmacist Dr Ahmed Yakasai; the Chairman, Medical Advisory Committee, Aminu Kano Teaching Hospital Kano, Prof. Auwalu Gajida, and the Former CEO/MD of Aminu Kano Teaching Hospital Kano, Professor Aminu Zakari, who was the Chairman of the occasion.
During the meeting, 17 scientific abstracts and 6lead papers were presented on the theme and subtheme of the conference. The theme paper was presented by the President of National Postgraduate Medical College of Nigeria, Ijanikin Lagos, Professor Musa Borodo.
After extensive deliberations, the Conference in session raised some fundamental issues related to the theme and subthemes. These included:
• Identified poor attitude among healthcare providers as a major contributor to morbidity and mortality across all age groups;
• The low adherence to Islamic Ethics was noted as a major cause of poor attitudeamong healthcare workers;
• The unavailability of Islamic financialresources has been pointed out as the main underlining factor limiting most individuals from meeting their healthcare needs;
• Both brain-drain and medical tourism have been noted as the two sides of the coin depleting the availability of adequate healthcare services in Nigeria;
• The fear of vaccination and subsequent refusal to be vaccinated by a large number of Nigerians have been identified as a major contributor to the rise in and of several variants of the coronavirus in the community;
• The new culture of disregard for Shariahacceptable norms in issues of marriage has contributed to the rising rates of singles in the community;
• A reason for rise in addiction rate within the family and community is the deceptive marketing of addiction products as “normalized” lifestyle;
• The rising rate of addiction among the youths has been identified as a major reason for decline in the nation’s wellbeing;
• There is poor awareness in the Muslim community of the investment opportunities available through Islamic cooperatives;
• There is sub-optimal understanding of Islamic leadership concepts among the Muslim health students;
• Unhealthy professional rivalry has continuedto undermine team work, inter-professional collaboration, patient safety and health outcome within the healthcare system.
At the end of the conference, the participants agreed that for IMAN to successfully implement its programs based on its guiding principles, it needs to ensure that the following resolutions are considered and implemented in all states of the federation as regards the themes and subthemes of the conference:.
• To improve healthcare providers’ attitude as a means to reducing the rising morbidity and mortality across all the ages;
• Continuing community engagement to adopt and utilize the universal Islamic Ethics to improve the current poor attitude predominant among healthcare workers;
• Islamic Cooperative Societies should upgrade their capacity to Shariah-complaint Micro-finance Institution towards providing the needed resources for healthcare services;
• To establish IMAN diaspora commission which will facilitate brain circulation and improve the provision of healthcare services within the country;
• Government is called upon to discourage brain-drain and medical tourism as a policy by improving healthcare providers’ wellbeing and mandating all tiers of its leadership from patronizing healthcare services outside the nation;
• The Government is also called upon to implement the 2001 Abuja Declaration by the African Union Member States to spend at least 15% of the nation’s annual budget on healthcare systems;
• All Nigerians are encouraged to go for COVID-19 vaccination as it still remains one of the best measures to reduce coronavirus transmission and prevent serious illnesses and deaths;
• Nigerians are encouraged to follow the guidelines given by the Prophet Muhammad SAW in choosing life partners and in the practice of polygyny;
• To protect Nigerians from becoming enticed by the deceptive marketing tactics of addiction industries, thereby lowering the incidence of all forms of addictions within the family and community;
• Ibadah friendly services should be embraced by all health facilities and personnel to bridge the gap in fulfilling the spiritual needs of patients;
• The conference also implored health workers to embrace team work, inter–professional collaboration and Ibadah-friendly practicesto improve patient–centred care.
In conclusion, IMAN extends her profound appreciation to the President, Federal Republic of Nigeria, President Muhammadu Buhari GCFR, for setting up the “Health Sector Reform Committee” and His Excellency, the Executive Governor of Kano State, Dr Abdullahi Umar Ganduje, “Khadimul Islam”, the Honorable Commissioner of Health, Kano State, Dr Aminu Ibrahim Tsanyawa, the government and people of Kano State for the hospitality provided for the conference. The association also thanks the management and staff of: Bayero Univeristy Kano; Aminu Kano Teaching Hospital; National Orthopedic Hospital Dala; and AlhajiAbdussamad Isyaku Rabiu, for the enabling environment provided for the successful hosting of the conference. The association also thanks all delegates, home and abroad and also wishes them a safe journey home.
Prof Ibrahim Oreagba. Dr Abdulrasheed Nasir
National President. National Secretary