Physiotherapists task govt on funding, seek directorate


NSP President, Taiwo Oyewumi

AS the world observes World Physiotherapy Day today, practitioners under the aegis of the Nigeria Society of Physiotherapy (NSP), have urged the Federal Government to fund training of specialist physiotherapists across the federation, even as they enjoin the government to create a directorate for the profession at the Federal Ministry of Health.

World Physiotherapy Day, observed every September 8, is an opportunity for physiotherapists around the world to raise the profile of the profession, and highlight its contribution to global health.

This year’s theme is “Fulfilling potential.” According to the NSP President, Taiwo Oyewumi, this year’s theme is very imperative since “physiotherapists are the practitioners of choice in helping people with long-term conditions to achieve their goals, fulfill their potential and participate fully in the society.”

Oyewumi told The Guardian yesterday, that while “many people with long-term health conditions or disabilities lead fulfilled lives, some do not because they do not receive the right kind of support.”

But “this can be devastating to individuals and this waste of potential also has a cost to others, families, communities and societies,” the physiotherapist said.

Chairman of Nwuga Physiotherapy Foundation (NPF), Dr Michael Egwu, a Consultant Physiotherapist at the Obafemi Awolowo University Teaching Hospital (OAUTH), said there is an urgent need to change the practice of physiotherapy in Nigeria to international standards through research. “We are, therefore, calling on all well-meaning Nigerians at home and in the Diaspora to support us to ensure the growth and development of this drugless way of healing.

NPF is ready to collaborate with individuals, donor agencies and corporate organisations. “It is our hope that encouraging physiotherapists to engage in original research will lead to inventions and improved skills.

Development of novel skills and patenting the skills and inventions will impact on humanity by improved physiotherapy service delivery by skilled and well-equipped therapists.

This will surely domicile intellectual property and reduce capital flight through medical tourism and attract foreign direct investment in the physiotherapy industry in Nigeria,” Egwu said.

NPF, named after the late erudite first professor of Physiotherapy in Africa, Vincent Chukuka Babatunde Nwuga who was an Emeritus professor in the Department of Medical Rehabilitation, College of Health Sciences, Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU), is aimed at facilitating ground-breaking and novel researches among Nigerian Physiotherapists both at home and abroad.

Oyewumi added that creation of directorate for physiotherapy at the ministry would “help physiotherapists to give informed advice to the Ministry and Government early enough during policy formulation,” adding funding for training of specialists physiotherapists would enable practitioners to render specialise services to Nigerians.

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