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Stakeholders urge integration of disability care into primary healthcare

By Stanley Akpunonu
19 December 2019   |   3:12 am
Medical experts have reiterated the need to integrate physically challenged care into the Primary Health Care (PHC) system.

Medical experts have reiterated the need to integrate physically challenged care into the Primary Health Care (PHC) system.

According to them, a lot of physically challenged do not keep to appointment due to proximity to the tertiary institution, hence the need for the primary healthcare to have physiotherapist, occupational therapist, doctors and nurses.

The stakeholders also regretted that tertiary institutions were overloaded with so many responsibilities that would have been addressed at primary health care.

Speaking at the end of the year party for the physically and mentally challenged, the Medical Director, National Orthopaedic Hospital Igbobi, Dr. Mustapha Alimi, said the challenges surrounding disabilities were enormous, harped on the need to intensify awareness about the scourge.

The medical director, who was represented by Consultant Orthopaedic Surgeon, Dr. Orlando Ugwuegbulem, said that most disabilities could be prevented at the prenatal stage.

He stated: “What it means is that if you have awareness for the mothers, good facilities during pregnancy and delivery, you can cut down significantly on the challenges the parents face. Most of these things are tied to wrong drug use during pregnancy and difficulty during labour.”

He added that some disabilities are genetically transmitted but majority of them were things related to pregnancy and deliveries.

Alimi said: “Abroad it is a branch of medicine that has into developing stem cells into medicine and what it means is that you can see people who are paraplegics and mentally challenged and once these cells are infused into them they tend to recover.”

Also, Deputy Director Physiotherapy Department, Dupe Adesanya said the essence of the event was to celebrate the children who normally will not attend parties because they are physically challenged and also to integrate them into the society and let them know that they are part of the society.