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ICRC to provide one-stop physical rehabilitation service in Maiduguri



Daniel Ngota

Mr Daniel Ngota, Team Leader, International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), Physical  Rehabilitation Centre (PRC) says ICRC is set to provide one- stop physical rehabilitation service for people living with disabilities in Maiduguri.

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Ngota disclosed this in an interview with a correspondent of the News Agency of Nigeria who visited the PRC located at the University of Maiduguri Teaching Hospital (UMTH) on Wednesday.

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According to him, the centre set to be inaugurated by President Muhammadu Buhari on Thursday is a project executed by ICRC and UMTH.

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“In 2018, the ICRC, in collaboration with the UMTH signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to fund and construct a PRC at the UMTH and bring the service closer to the people in Borno and neighbouring states.

“This centre is different from other centres because it provides a one- stop services- that means when you come here with physical disability, you receive all the services you need without referring you to any other place.

“The centre gives a comprehensive rehabilitation service, people with disabilities as a result of amputation, polio, diabetes, accidents are provided with services here.

“We will provide services in physiotherapy, prostheses (artificial limbs), orthoses (supportive braces) for upper and lower limbs, customised wheelchair fitting and walking aids.

“ We provide services for other structural deformity affecting spine and we will also provide mental health psycho-social support and 18-bed dormitory accommodation.’’

According to him, the construction of the centre started in July, 2019 but was completed in October, 2020 because of COVID-19.

Ngota told NAN that the centre was built to address the problem of referring amputees to National Orthopaedic Hospital Dala (NOHD), Kano where ICRC runs a Rehabilitation Programme in collaboration with NOHD.

“It was built due to the problem that happened in the North East and it was not easy for people to move to Kano due to insecurity along the road.

“As a result of that, they came up with a programme of building the centre to provide people with disability with services they need.

“We have all the machineries required to produce artificial limbs, from medium level technology to high level technology.

“Secondly, we have production unit, it is equipped with all the materials that are important to rehabilitate people living with disability.

“We also have physiotherapy section where training is done for people who have received their services and require training on how to use them,’’ he said.

According to him, artificial limb is not something that is natural, the beneficiaries needed to be trained on how to use these appliances both for lower limbs and upper limbs.

In addition, he said the centre hosts an advanced training area where service users could use, explaining “service users are old patients that needed only follow up services.’’

Ngota further told NAN that ICRC had trained six orthopaedic technologists in Tanzania to provide services at the new PRC, adding that three technologists were undergoing training at Federal college of Orthopaedic Technology, Lagos

He said the MoU signed with UMTH was that ICRC would support the staff of UMTH technically and after two years the centre would be handed over to the hospital.

“We are two from ICRC– a Prosthesist and a physiotherapist, we will continue to mentor these staff for the first two years because they just completed their training.

“ We need to strengthen their capacity and we will hand over completely to them by 2022,’’ the official said.

Ngota, however, advised UMTH to embrace the work at PRC and improve the facilities to a higher status, saying “ the centre can be one of the training institutions in future for prosthesis and orthoses.

In an interview with a Physiotherapist at PRC, Abdulhammed Jabbo, said physiotherapist had a vital role in the rehabilitation of amputees.

“ When a person has his leg amputated, we have to give attention to the unaffected leg, strengthen the muscles and build the endurance of the person before administering prosthesis.

“It is a new device so we have to train them to use the artificial limbs, so our role is vital to the amputees because if physiotherapy is not done well it can lead to deformity,’’ he said.

Edited By: Ese E. Ekama
Source: NAN

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