Therapists seek implementation of rehabilitation policy, disability bill
The Medical Rehabilitation Therapists Board of Nigeria (MRTB) has urged the government to formulating remedial actions to make care of persons living with disability better in Nigeria. The board which called for the formulation of a disability policy and bill for its inclusion in the National health Policy said, the World Health Organisation (WHO) Global Disability Action Plan 2014-2021 declared disability is a global public health and human right issue which should not be ignored or given less attention.
Speaking at a press conference for its first International Conference for Medical Rehabilitation Professionals, the Registrar/Chief executive officer, MRTB, Olufunke Akanle said, persons leaving with any form of physical or congenital conditions encounter widespread barriers in accessing healthcare and related services, with worse health outcomes than people living without disabilities.
She said urgent attention should be given to people living with disabilities, as majority of their cases could be prevented at the early stage if the necessary rehabilitation process is given to the patients. “Persons living with disabilities require close monitoring, frequent consultations and visitations as part of the rehabilitation procedure, but there are an array of challenges that hinder the availability and accessibility of patients to the needed health services, irrespective of their health-seeking behavior,” she added. Akanle stressed that, although, secondary and tertiary healthcare institutions offer therapeutic health services, they are usually not an easy-reach for most patients with disabling conditions, which call for the need to establish rehabilitation centres across the country for accessibility to healthcare.
Speaking on the theme: “Medical Rehabilitation Services in Community and Primary Health Care in Nigeria and Sub-Sahara Africa”, a Senior Lecturer/ Consultant Ergonomics Physiotherapist, Udoka Okafor said, due to lack of rehabilitation centres in the country, as well as insufficient man-power, the conference, slated for september20-22, 2017 at the Lagos Airport Hotel, Ikeja, Lagos, would optimize rehabilitation services in Nigeria and its communities through the primary healthcare initiatives, as currently been advanced by the Minister of health, Prof. Isaac Adewole, who is also the chief host, with the Lagos state governor Akinwunmi Ambode and his wife Bolanle Ambode as the guest of honour and the chairperson.