Dr Felix Ogedegbe, Medical Director, Cedarcrest Hospital, Abuja, has promised to give free medical treatment to 100 Nigerians affected by polio as part of events to commemorate the 2019 World Polio Day.
Ogedegbe made the promise on Monday in Abuja at the Cedarcrest Polio Week event and the Continuing Professional Development (CPD), lecture organised by Cedarcrest Polio Centre.
The Cedarcrest Polio Centre in Abuja is a non-profit making initiative in collaboration with Cedarcrest Hospitals, Rotary Club of Koblenz, Germany, the Polio Centre of Catholic Hospital Koblenz/Montabaur and Ottobock.
The aim was to make treatment available to people living with residual deformities after suffering from an acute poliomyelitis infection.
According to Ogedegbe, for the first time in Nigeria, people who have been affected by polio will be receiving medical care and free assessment and treatment.
“The centre, a non-profit making organisation, aims to bring advanced post-polio care to the reach of millions of Nigerians living with complications of poliomyelitis.
“As Nigeria continues to work towards the eradication of the threat of polio across the country, there is need to provide support services to polio survivors. “Cedarcrest Polio Centre celebrates the success the country has made in moving towards a nation without polio, while still acknowledging more work needs to be done. “Our centre works with the support of the Rotary Club of Koblenz, Germany, the Polio Centre of the Catholic Hospital Koblenz/Montabaur and Ottobock, to connect polio survivors, share information and resources with polio survivors. “We try to shine light on the post-polio syndrome that some of them live with,” he said.
The medical director said many polio survivors were suffering from treatable medical complications and preventable secondary deterioration while the medical community in general is unaware of recent advances in polio care.
“They tell them nothing can be done,” he said.
Ogedegbe noted that the centre would also provide education for those unfamiliar with polio and to caregivers helping those with post-polio syndrome.
Speaking on Post-Polio facts, he said it was “sequelae symptoms” (sequela is a pathological condition resulting from a disease, injury, therapy, or other trauma) which affects the ability to perform the activities of daily living, increase care needs, assistance and impact on quality of life.
He said the risk factors were paralytic poliomyelitis, diagnosis requiring hospitalisation with greater physical activity in the intervening years.
The medical director stressed that the prevalence of poliomyelitis has continued to decrease, while acknowledging the efforts of multiple immunisation programmes and prevention drives.
“The burden of those who have already contracted poliomyelitis and live with sequelae remains to be attended to.
“Our goal is to prevent long-term suffering and improve the quality of life through modern specialist post-polio treatment including prosthetic orthotic solutions and physiotherapy,” he explained. (NAN)