Some medical practitioners have called for improved and more rehabilitation centres across the country for effective health care delivery.
They made the call while discussing on “Rehab 2030: Strengthening Healthcare Services through Community Driven Initiative’’ at the AfricaNXT 2022 holding in Lagos.
AfricaNXT, formally Social Media Week (SMW), is an annual event, with the theme for 2022 as : “Reimagine Now: Co-create Next.”
Dr Olufunke Akanle, chief executive officer, Medical Rehabilitation Therapist Board (MRTB), said there is lack of political will to strengthen rehabilitation services in the country.
According to her, rehab is a part of cliinical sciences that has not received much attention but very vital in the treatment of patients, especially accident patients.
Akanle said that to achieve Universal Health Coverage (UHC) in Africa, rehabilitation, an aspect of health care system, must be made a priority.
Ibidunni Alonge, a physiotherapist, said there was need for enlightenment and advocacy on the importance of rehabilitation in health care delivery.
According to her, at least one out of every three persons needs rehabilitation for proper treatment and recuperation.
She advocated for the use of technology for effective rehabilitation treatment.
Also speaking, Dr Ibraheem Salako, audiologist/speech therapist, advised that rehabilitation be included in the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) and in the Health Management Offices (HMOs) as rehabilitation treatment could be expensive.
Ms Christabelle Asoluka, who handles prosthetics (artificial parts of body) said that some tertiary institutions they visited lacked rehabilitation services.
She said that research published in The Lancet shows that one in every three persons requires rehabilitative services in a lifespan, regretting that in spite of this, there was shortage of rehabilitation professionals.
Asoluka said there was need for individuals and organisationsto facilitate accessible rehabilitation services.
The experts all agreed that people who had gone through any form of disability as a result of accident or have recovered from stroke need mental rehabilitation.
The 2022 AfricaNXT which started on February 8 and ended March 4, had over 200 sessions and over 2000 participants.