Lagos - Prof. Akin Osibogun, the Chief Medical Director, Lagos University Teaching Hospital (LUTH), Idi-Araba, has said that stigmatisation is a major hindrance to disease control in Nigeria.
Osibogun said this at a media workshop organised by the hospital in Lagos on Wednesday.
He said that many Nigerians stigmatised people with certain diseases as "outcasts", thereby making it difficult to gather data on rate of diseases in the country.
"Because, in this part of our world, we view having disease as a curse or as a crime, people tend to hide without reporting their health status.
"We have a huge misconception of diseases and it is not helping our database, so that preventive measures and interventions can be put in place."
Osibogun said that stigmatisation encouraged the spread of diseases and caused endemic situation.
"For fear of stigmatisation, lots of people hide their illnesses and the more you refuse to treat such, it breeds complications and it tends to spread faster."
The LUTH chief executive, however, urged the media to enlighten and sensitise the public to correct certain misconceptions and eliminate stigmatisation.
"The media, as one of the stakeholders in the health sector, has a powerful tool to educate, sensitise and enlighten the public for a positive development in the country.
"The judicious utilisation of the media can help medical professionals to discharge their duties and help the patients to live healthy," he said.