Nigeria

The Nigeria Society of Physiotherapy (NSP) joined the rest of the world to celebrate World Physical Therapy Day on 8th September 2016.

Celebrations marking the day were held across the 36 states of the federation and the FCT of Nigeria.

Reports from the Public Relations Officers of the state chapters showed a plethora of activities all over the nation.

In the southwestern state of Oyo, where the NSP national executive members, led by the President, Taiwo Oyewumi, joined the state chapter in the celebrations to the ancient town of Oyo with the focal venue being the Palace (Aafin) of His Imperial Majesty, Oba (Dr) Lamidi Olayiwola Adeyemi III, CFR, LL.D, SAP, D.LLT., the Alaafin of Oyo.

Earlier the delegation paid a courtesy visit to the foremost and first-class Oba, during which he gave his royal blessings. The highly respected octogenarian traditional ruler declared that engagement in physical exercises remains a major panacea to his healthy ageing. He expressed his readiness to come for the health screening organized by the physiotherapists.

The events of the day showed that the good people of Oyo town supported and embraced all activities that would promote healthy living and ageing. The celebration, as planned by the OYO NSP, featured a health walk (rally), health talk, physical health screening (measurement of blood pressure, body weight, body height, body fats, etc.), as well as health consultancy services.

Elsewhere in the south east state of Anambra, the celebration was successful.  The Anambra state chapter executives started by paying a courtesy visit to the permanent secretary, Anambra state ministry of health Dr Okwuchukwu Chukwuka who is coincidentally a physiotherapist. In his remarks, Dr Chukwuka assured the state chapter of his continued support in terms of policy and advocacy.

The main event was held in Awka the state capital at Odimegwu Ojukwu Teaching Hospital Awka . The ceremony was declared open by the Chief Medical Director of the hospital Dr L.L Ikeakor , followed by the state chapter chairman's opening remark. In his remark, the chairman, Dr Joe Umunnah, a senior lecturer and the head of Medical Rehabilitation, Nnamdi Azikiwe University Awka welcomed all the participants and spoke extensively on the theme of the event.

Two lectures were delivered in line with the theme of the year ‘ADDING LIVES TO YEARS’ the speakers here PT Gloria Umerah and Dr P.O Ibikunle. Interactive session followed alongside entertainment. The state also held a radio talk show which further enlightened people on the role of physiotherapy in medicine.

In the Coal city state of Enugu, the state chapter also had a grand celebration. which commenced with a phone -in radio programme at the Rock station-Solid FM 100.9 with Dr. Cyprcian Orjinta(PT), PT. Ezinne Nwosu representing the chapter together with Mr. Aghayan, a man that benefited immensely from physiotherapy. It was an exciting interactive session between them and the general public.

The theme of the day: 'Add Life to Years' was well celebrated at the 'Little sisters of the Poor our lady of perpetual help home for the elderly' Awkunanaw, Enugu. There, exercise sessions, health screening and physiotherapy interventions were given to elderly at the centre. Later in the day, the chapter embarked on a public enlightenment campaign via a road show and distribution of flyers where a campaign on the benefits of exercise as a panacea for healthy living were well publicised. The celebration which took a whole day ended with an evening get together at the Okpara Square where PTs and other participants relaxed, ate and drank.

Far away in the northern part of the country, In Jigawa state to be precise. Events started two weeks prior to the date with a TV programme at Arewa24, a satellite TV on Nile Sat. The program was aimed at increasing awareness on physiotherapy and clearing some misconceptions about the profession. The TV programme which featured the state chapter chairman PT Saminu Tahir, his deputy PT Fauziyya Idris and PT Suraj Kamilu Suleiman the chapter public relations officer was aired on 8th September at about 7.00pm.

Later in the day, a courtesy visit was paid on the Jigawa state's head of civil service who was a former Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Health. It was during his tenure that physiotherapy made a tremendous leap in the state. Plans as regards Eorld Physiotherapy Day were communicated to him which he gladly supported. The head of service promised to participate, mobilise and sensitise all his staff via radio station.

Health sensitisation and outreach were also conducted where various health screening like BP, RBS, BMI were rendered free of charge as well as medical advice and physiotherapy interventions in some cases.

In the south-south state of Rivers, celebrations were held at Briathwait Memorial Specialist hospital, Portharcourt.

In attendance were the Honourable Commissioner of Health Rivers State represented by the Chief Medical Director Rivers State Hospitals Management Board, Medical Director B.M.S.H,Director of Administration, Director of Pharmaceutical Service, Chairman N.S.P Private Practitioners,Chairman N.M.A Rivers State, Chairman Association Medical Laboratory Scientist as well as physiotherapists from all the hospitals in the state.

The occasion featured public lectures and a talk show. The guest lecture was delivered on Adding Life To Years by Nina Chigbo an Oncology physiotherapy expert and a chief physiotherapist from University of Nigeria Teaching Hospital Enugu, while the R.I.V.N.S.P chairman delivered a lecture on the State of physiotherapy in Rivers State and the Need to advance physiotherapy in Rivers State. The event was used to reach out to policy makers in the healthcare section of Rivers State to bring to their notice the urgent need to effect positive changes that will lead to the advancement of physiotherapy in Rivers State.

Similar activities held simultaneously in all the 36 states of Nigeria and the Federal Capital Territory in what have been described by many as the most highly publicised world Physiotherapy day celebration in Nigeria as electronic media, print media and social media were agog with news, pictures and videos of the day.