Medical quackery in Nigeria; why the silence?

Niger J Med. 2007 Oct-Dec;16(4):312-7. doi: 10.4314/njm.v16i4.37328.


Background: This paper examines the magnitude and scope of medical quackery practice in 21st Century Nigeria and wonders why there is so much complacency in tackling the problem. It also proffers solutions to the malady.

Methods: Definition and brief history of medical quackery both in the developed world and Nigeria is given. The scope of the practice in Nigeria is then examined.

Results: Medical quackery is rampant in Nigeria; Culprits cut across the whole strata of medical and health practitioners. The so called alternative/natural health practice has particularly assumed great popularity lately and the Federal Government seems to turn the other way in spite of their unsubstantiated, largely placebo 'Cures'. Homeopathy, in particular, is a medical quackery per excellence and should be banned. Law Enforcement Agents, Medical Practice Licensing Board and other Health Professions Licensing Boards, Nigeria Medical Association and other Health Profession Associations should take this problem seriously. Legislations should be made where they have not been made and enforced where they have been made and various professional bodies should not hesitate to sanction their erring members who deviate from acceptable practice. The government will also do well in addressing the key problems of poverty and illiteracy as these are twin brothers that promote the practice and acceptance of medical quackery.

Conclusion: Unless concerted efforts are taken by all stake holders, especially the government, in tackling the health care problems in Nigeria, the decay in the system will continue and medical quackery will continue to thrive.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Complementary Therapies
  • Developing Countries*
  • Homeopathy
  • Humans
  • Nigeria
  • Practice Patterns, Physicians' / standards*
  • Quackery*