Dr. Anuoluwapo Adepoju, popularly known as Dr. Anu, Dr. Anu Fella or Sisi Anu, the founder of Med Contour Cosmetic Surgery Clinic, Lekki Lagos, was arrested on Wednesday, 1st July, 2020. Her arrest was announced by the Federal Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (FCCPC) on Friday 3rd July, 2020. Dr. Anu was arrested for failing to comply with the FCCPC requirements in an ongoing investigation into some allegations that accused her of practicing cosmetic surgery without proper certification. She was alleged to have failed to provide all the necessary information that would aid the investigation. FCCPC stated that it is suspicious that Dr. Anu carries out illegal activities in her clinic. As it is now, FCCPC has sealed up Med Contour Clinic until further notice.
Dr. Anu is an “uncertified” cosmetic surgeon that owns and runs Med Contour Cosmetic Clinic. She and her services have been social media controversial topics for some time now. The first time I heard about her was sometime in 2019, when one of her patients, Late Nneka Onwuzuligbo, an ex-beauty queen, died from complications that resulted from the liposuction that Dr. Anu performed on her at Med Contour Clinic. Rumour had it then that Dr. Anu fled the country to avoid arrests. It was said that the relatives of Nneka reported her to FCCPC and the commission summoned her to provide documents that certify her to perform cosmetic surgery in the country.
The second time I heard about Dr. Anu was in April this year, when a social media user, with the Instagram handle, Omohtee, cried out about the severe pain she was passing through after undergoing hip reduction surgery in Med Contour. Medical practitioners on social media used that period to educate Nigerians on the dangers of botched cosmetic surgeries, which are common consequences of undergoing plastic surgeries in the hands of quacks. It then turned out that Dr. Anu is not a cosmetic surgeon. She is just a general practitioner, who was said to have graduated from UNILAG/LUTH in 2016/2017. Some quarters even claimed that she opened the clinic while still undergoing her one year internship. These may be termed as hearsay, but the fact remains that Dr. Anu is not a qualified cosmetic surgeon.
The question on our lips should then be, why do Nigerians still patronise her? Or more generally, why do Nigerians patronise quack doctors?
You may be surprised to find out that many Nigerians will still patronise Med Contour Clinic if FCCPC reopens it today. Not only will they patronise the clinic, they will still insist that Dr. Anu performs the surgery on them. Sometimes, it is proper to say that “Nigerians no dey hear word”.
Let’s leave Dr. Anu’s matter for now and ask ourselves why Nigerians patronise quacks.
The reasons why Nigerians patronise quacks, even when they know that they’re quacks, are too numerous to be mentioned. Someone once told me he doesn’t have money for hospitals but I told him that we have General Hospitals and functional Primary Health Centres, where he can pay close to nothing to see qualified doctors. Another person told me that some quacks have the gift of healing and that once you tell them your problem, whatever drugs they recommended for you are sure to work. Of course we also have those that are ignorant and call an ordinary chemist attendant “doctor” and take prescriptions from him. Like I said, the reasons are too many to be mentioned in this piece.
But none of those reasons can hold water in the case of Dr. Anu and her clients. People that don’t have the financial capabilities do not go for cosmetic surgeries. So the case of low income is ruled out. So why do Nigerians still risk patronising Dr. Anu despite knowing that she isn’t qualified to handle such an operation?
A cosmetic surgeon must be a specialist, who passed through several years of training under the supervision of another specialist before he or she is certified. Entrusting your life into the hands of a young lady that just obtained her MBBS, to perform such an operation is a risk that has no justification. Hopefully, Med Contour Clinic will be under lock until Dr. Anu is ready to employ or partner with a specialist that will handle cosmetic surgeries in the clinic. Other than that, more sad news will continue to emanate from her clinic.