By Jefferey Ogunyinde
AS Nigeria joined the rest of the world to mark this year’s World Physiotherapy Day on September 8, the Nigeria Society of Physiotherapy is urging the Federal Government to create a Directorate of Physiotherapy and Rehabilitation in the Federal Ministry of Health, as a way of boosting decision and policy making regarding physiotherapy and medical rehabilitation issues in the country.
Making the call in Lagos, the National President of the Society, Taiwo Oyewumi, said as against about 42,000 physiotherapists required to cater for the country, there is currently about 1,000 physiotherapists gainfully employed.
“This is a state of emergency,” he stated, noting that in order for Nigerians to benefit optimally, government and policy makers need to address some front burners issues and challenges facing the profession.
Further, Oyewunmi said, “There is also dearth of physiotherapy equipment required for diagnosis and intervention in Nigeria. The need for physiotherapists as the practitioners of choice in helping people with long-term conditions to achieve their goals, fulfill their potential and participate fully in the society, must be recognised.
In his views, many people with long-term health conditions or disabilities lead fulfilled lives. “But some do not because they do not receive the right kind of support. This can be devastating to individuals and this waste of potential also has a cost to others: families, communities and societies.”
He said increasing evidence supports the value of Ppysiotherapy in the health care. Physiotherapy is the arts and science of helping people to move and function throughout their live span.
“Physiotherapy is a client-centered profession which aims at optimizing quality of life. This includes promotion of a healthy life style, prevention of illness and injury for those at risk and rehabilitation following injury or impairment of function.
“The NSP implore government at all levels as matter of urgency to open up discussions with the NSP and set up world model rehabilitation centers in the six geo-political zones in the country as a starter,” he argued.