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“Professionals work harder to help patients”
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“Professionals work harder to help patients”

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Gerald NwokochaProsthetics can be an essential need for the physically disabled. As Gerald Nwokocha, 28, a Commonwealth Correspondent from Abuja, Nigeria reports, professionals in Nigeria are working to update knowledge and practices that will promote rehabilitation and quality of life.

There is an increasing need for the rehabilitation of persons living with physical disabilities in Nigerian society, according to a member of the local organising committee for the Nigerian Prosthetic, Orthotic and Orthopaedic Technology Society (NPOOTS).

Uchechi Madona Orji told this reporter that this kind of service can efficiently be offered by the rehabilitation caregivers, hence holding a scientific conference becomes paramount in ensuring the professional development of these caregivers.

A two day conference, which was held in Owerri recently, was the maiden edition for the venture. It attracted who-is-who in the profession, and  had as its theme “Prosthetics and Orthotics in developing countries: The Nigerian Experience”.

Over 140 participants from diverse professional background and institutions attended the conference.

It is the belief of the majority of NPOOTS members that mandatory and continuous professional development will go a long way in promoting the prosthetics and orthotics profession, and will allow for proper rehabilitation of the physically disabled in society.

The conference was declared open by Professor I.N.S Dozie, Dean, School of Health Technology, Federal University of Technology Owerri.

In his welcome address, Mr Onwukamuche Chikwado, president of society, stated that scientific conferences have become necessary in order to ensure adequate exposure of professionals to technological breakthroughs and internationally-adopted best practices in the prosthetics and orthotics profession, instead of dwelling on old-fashioned practices.

Delivering the keynote address, Professor Goddy Chuba Okoye, professor of rehabilitation medicine and bio-engineering, stated the need to look beyond structural replacement and toward functional enhancement.  He stressed the need for the Nigerian prosthesis and orthotic professionals to delve more into research work, as the world is experiencing unparalleled growth in technological advancements.

gerald3Highlights of the conference were the plenary sessions, scientific presentations, and presentation of awards to three deserving personalities.

The plenary sessions touched many topics such as:

Ethical issues in medical rehabilitation: The prosthetic and orthotic perspective by Mrs Akanle Olufunke, of the Medical Rehabilitation Therapist Board of Nigeria;

The role of the prosthetic and orthotic officer in the rehabilitation team, by Dr Nwadinigwe C. U., of the National Orthopaedic Hospital, Enugu; and

the Nigerian Prosthetic and Orthotic Profession: past, the present and the future by the International Society of Prosthetics and Orthotics.

The Conference Workshop, which was on “Clinical Assessment: A key tool in achieving a good prosthetic and orthotic rehabilitation”, was handled by Mr Solomon Mmomelu, Head of Prosthetics and Orthotics Department, National Orthopaedic Hospital, Enugu.

Awards also were given to three distinguished personalities, namely;

  • Professor Joseph Ahaneku, The Vice Chancellor, Nnamdi Azikiwe University Awka, for his services toward promotion of prosthetic and orthotic education in Nigeria.
  • Dr Felix Ogedegbe, Medical Director, Cidacrest Hospital Abuja, for his services toward promotion of prosthetics and orthotics profession in the private health sector.
  • Dr Cosmas Okoli, founder, Association for Comprehensive Empowerment of Nigerians with Disabilities (ASCEND), for his services toward empowerment of persons living with physical disabilities.

Reach me at nwokochagerald@gmail.com

Photo credits to: Uchechi Madonna Orji

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About me: I’m an apostle of positive change who possesses leadership acumen and intellectual values. My work in investigative journalism and community service has helped to improve human condition.

I am the principal author of “The Metamorphoses of Nigeria”. Via the book, I interviewed Nigeria’s President Muhammadu Buhari, and former Commonwealth Secretary-General Chief Emeka Anyaoku.

I am a game-changer with a track record of excellence, and passion about teamwork and Africa. I live in Nigeria’s capital, Abuja.

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Opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of the Commonwealth Youth Programme. Articles are published in a spirit of dialogue, respect and understanding. If you disagree, why not submit a response?

To learn more about becoming a Commonwealth Correspondent please visit: http://www.yourcommonwealth.org/submit-articles/

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