Force Medical Officers trained on cause of death certification in Abuja

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…As FMO appreciates IGP’s support, charges Medical Officers to leverage on workshop opportunities

The Nigeria Police Medical Services, through the Force Pathologist Office, Friday, organized a one day workshop for Police Medical Officers on the Medical Certification of Cause of Death (MCCD) in Abuja.

Speaking at the workshop, the Force Medical Officer (FMO), CP (Dr). Emmanuel N Garba, thanked the Inspector General of Police (IGP) Usman Alkali Baba, for his approval and support for the program, noting that death registration remains a vital statistics for policy making. 

He said: “This is a very laudable project because as medical doctors, our role as death certifiers and notifiers cannot be over-emphasised, unfortunately for most of us, MCCD training or certification of death was not included in our curriculum while in medical school. 

“Vital statistics (VS) as the name implies, is vital to the assessment and monitoring of a nation’s goals including Nigeria, just like the ‘vitals’ our living patients undergo when they visit the hospital to assess/monitor their clinical situation. 

“Note the emphasis on the ‘living patients’, because as doctors we also attend to the dead in various forms e.g. declaration of death, certification of death, notification of death, closure for the family and friends or the bereaved, humanitarian and medicolegal death investigation, etc, as part of the general management of the dead. 

“Many of the health facilities’ administrators in Nigeria are medical doctors with similar proportions in the Nigeria Police Medical Services, so I am sure this workshop will not only include learning objectives that cover documentation of statement of cause of death leading to data capture by the relevant agency – the National Population Commission but also touch on the importance of the overall process of CRVS. 

“The workshop will also serve as a Continuous Medical Education (CME) with relevant points and certificate of participation will be given to participants.”

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A cross section of participants at the workshop

CP Garba further appreciated the effort of the Force Pathologist, CSP Dr. Samuel Keshinro, for his passion and doggedness in piloting this novel project, through the sponsorship of the Bloomberg Philanthropies.

On his part, Force Pathologist, CSP (Dr) Samuel Keshinro, said that the training will aide police officers in the discharge of their duties as they are often confronted with challenges on how to report cause of deaths and obtain Medical Certification of Cause of Death (MCCD).

“This training is particularly important for officers to know the right thing to do at a particular time. It is usually very tempting to issue death certificate without even seeing the body, but this comes with consequences. There are instances of people using death certificates to perpetuate fraud, especially with insurance companies. Therefore, we have to be extra careful with issuance of MCCD, hence the crux of this workshop,” he said.

Participants at the MCCD workshop

In his goodwill message, the MD/CEO Police Health Maintenance Limited, Dr. Yusuf Gazali, commended the project and noted that his Organization will always support and partner with the Nigeria Police Medical Services in actualizing laudable projects of this nature, for the benefit of members of the Force and the general public.

Goodwill messages were also received from the National Population Commission (NPC), through its Director of Vital Registration, Mr. Sunday Matthew, and the Medical and Dental Council of Nigeria, represented by P. S. Chechet.

Force Medical Officer (FMO), CP (Dr). Emmanuel N Garba, at the MCCD workshop in Abuja

Glonat Newsonline reports that the workshop was attended by commissioners of police respectively in-charge of Nursing and Dental, CP Umar Madaki and CP (Dr.) Nkechi Eze, Force Medical Public Relations Liaison Officer, DSP Eze Chidiebere, and police medical officers in-charge of all the medical facilities of the Nigeria Police Force in various state commands and formations, while certificate of participation was issued to participants at the end of the training. 

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