AFTERMATH OF POLIO: Cedarcrest Hospitals Abuja Partners International Experts on management of Poliomyelitis Deformities in Nigeria
As part of its corporate social responsibilities to Nigerians, Cedarcrest Orthopedic Hospitals Abuja in collaboration with Catholic Polio Clinics and Ottobock Healthcare both in Germany have organized a one day sensitization and awareness workshop on management of Sequelae of poliomyelitis.
Speaking in Abuja on what necessitated the workshop and collaboration, the Medical Director Dr. Felix Ogendegbe said ” the purpose is in two folds, first of all we at Cedarcrest we always use all the opportunity that we have to draw attention and awareness to the Poliomyelitis problem, like you are aware Nigeria is still one of the few countries in the world where there is still the spread of the Poliomyelitis virus, secondly we want to draw attention to those people who have suffered polio already, who are living with deformities and issues that polio leaves in its wake. There are people who cannot use their hands,their legs normally, we also have people who cannot use their spine normally, they have been crippled by the aftermath of the polio virus.”
“Our government and society owes them a duty to deal with the problem that are left behind and that is why we have brought these our partners from Germany because they have a centre that is dedicated to the cure of poliomyelitis and its aftermath ”
Speaking further Dr Ogedengbe pointed out that the management of Sequelae of Poliomyelitis is a global challenge.
“Germany for example has not had any new case of polio since 1986 but they keeping treating people who had cases and deformities from polio in the past.
” So since we have these kind of problem here, we are trying to raise awareness so that people who already suffered from Polio will have the care that they deserve.”
On the cost of treatment, Dr. Ogendegbe said the workshop is totally free of charge noting that it is after the meeting that the actual cost of any of the outcome of poliomyelitis can be known as no two cases needs the same kind of solution.” They are not paying for it at this time, but it does mean that going forward there will be assessment of patients and there would be specific needs like people who needs braces to their spine and those who needs wheel chair to move around and other things.”
He therefore used the medium to call on the government to establish means to pick up the cost of polio patients, ” there is actually no free treatment anywhere in the world it is the Government or Non Governmental Organizations that picks up the bills in other developed climes, So if this is done in Nigeria, patients will not have to pay from their pocket. Some of these treatments are expensive and we think that people who have suffered such fate, government should take up their medical treatment bills and we are ready to work to provide that care locally”
While calling on Nigerians wherever they are to always feel free to come to the hospital to make enquirers about treatments of the aftermath of the virus Dr. Ogendegbe stated that the hospital is at the verge of having a specific Programme to take care of poliomyelitis cases.
Speaking on the awareness and intervention strategies for the country, the Leader of the Team from Germany Dr. Axel Ruetz Medical Director Clinics of Conservative Orthopedic and Rehabilitation Polio Centre In Germany Said the campaign and other efforts by the government and well meaning individuals must be very effective especially in getting vaccinations to avoid new cases of Polio in the country to avoid missing cases that will further be to the detriment of the Health sector in Nigeria.”
In his words, ” After this we have to think about the people who are Poliomyelitis Sequelae (those suffering from the aftermath of Polio Virus, they needs some help from public health sector to help them get some devices that will help them move around freely”
On his part Dr. Saddiq Salawu, a consultant Orthopedic Surgeon at the Cedarcrest Hospital Abuja Speaking on what should be done to make sure that Poliomyelitis become a thing of the past in Nigeria, said continued public enlightenment is what the country needs, ” we should not rest on our oars that we have kicked polio Out, we have to support the efforts of the international community is making to permanently kick polio out of Nigeria”
” though the government has had appreciable intervention in tackling the challenges, more needs to be done.”
The Workshop is aimed at Educating the participants on Mordern concepts in the management of Post-Polio Deformities.