Aminu Kano Teaching Hospital commences maggot therapy to end diabetic amputation

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The Aminu Kano Teaching Hospital (AKTH) has commenced maggot therapy to put an end to diabetic amputation in patients.

Maggot therapy is a type of biotherapy involving the introduction of life, disinfected maggots (fly larvae) into the non-healing skin and soft tissue wound(s) of a human or animal for the purpose of cleaning out the necrotic (dead) tissue within a wound (debridement) and disinfection.

The spokesperson of the hospital, Hauwa Muhammad Abdullahi, in a statement, said so far 15 patients had been treated with the therapy and discharged.

She said a Nigerian, Dr Mustapha Ahmed Yusuf, a medical anthologist who returned to the hospital upon completion of his PhD in Medical Anthology from Tehran in 2019 was behind the initiative.

“For over 16-years the United Kingdom and the United States of America have embraced this method because it is a simple bedside procedure and patients don’t have to be taken to the theatre,” Yusuf said, according to the statement.

“Some African countries where they have medical anthologists, maggot therapy is being practised as a means of medical treatment to reduce long periods of staying in the hospital for patients with chronic wounds. The Aminu Kano Teaching Hospital has been the model for maggot therapy in Nigeria because it is the only tertiary health institution Nigeria that has recently gotten a medical anthologist,” he added.

He further said medical anthologists work in collaboration with orthopaedic and plastic surgeons and that orthopaedic surgeons recommend maggot therapy as a final treatment option before amputation.

Aisha Abubakar, a 55-year-old diabetic with a gangrenous foot said, “Maggot therapy is wonderful. It was Almighty God that saved my foot from being amputated. Two hours before being taken to the theatre, a young gentleman came to examine my leg and said he will try something for me. He came back and put some tiny things on the wound and covered it, a few hours later, gradually I began to feel some sensation which I lost long ago even before being admitted in the hospital.

Bashir Abba, another patient who has been on admission for over three months undergoing various treatments said the therapy revived the infected wound, removed all the infections and restored hope to him.

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