• NTA NEWS with ACAPN on World Physiotherapist Day

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    In the spirit of celebration across the globe we the ACAPN use this medium to wish everyone a  happy physiotherapy day

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  • Poor facilities, brain drain hamper physiotherapists’ services in Nigeria — Dr Chris Okafor

    President, Association of Clinical and Academic Physiotherapists of Nigeria, ACAPN, Dr. Chris  Okafor has expressed concern over the inconducive environment which he said was endangering the practice of physiotherapy in the country.  

    Speaking during the commemoration of 2021 World Physiotherapist Day, Okafor explained that despite the prominent role played by physiotherapists in patients’ recovery process; many tertiary health institutions in the country don’t have professional physiotherapists. For instance, there is a General Hospital is one of the states in the country that is supposed to have at least 100 physiotherapists but only have two.  

    “While medical doctors emphasize the use of drugs, a surgeon emphasis use of surgery, the physiotherapist emphasizes the use of his hands, skills and some electromedical equipment, exercise among others. “Physiotherapy basically is an aspect of healthcare that deals with prevention; treatment and rehabilitation of various diseases such as stroke, low back pain, neck pain, arthritis, and pregnancy induces back pain, sports injury among others. 

    Physiotherapists use approaches that do not cause harm to the patient. He hinted that due to lack of conducive environment majority of their members had left the country for greener pasture where they can practice optimally, “many hospitals in the country do not have required equipment to offer the service while some are parading obsolete equipment.

    One out three physiotherapy graduate leave the country and this, in turn, affect healthcare delivery in so many ways. While calling on President Muhammadu Buhari to include a member of ACAPN in the Health Reform Committee, he admonished Nigerians not to patronize quacks.

    Speaking ahead of the Association’s annual scientific conference slated for 18th to 23rd of October, Vice-Chairperson, Lagos Chapter of Association of Clinical Academic Physiotherapists of Nigeria, Dr. Happiness Aweto said that COVID-19 help to open the eye of people to the role of physiotherapists in handling COVID-19 patients. Physiotherapists are those who work on the chest condition of COVID-19 patients, they take care of the respiratory system and heart-related issues.”

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  • Physiotherapists decry non-inclusion in FG’s newly established Health Reform Committee

    Physiotherapists in the country under the aegis of the Association of Clinical and Academic Physiotherapists of Nigeria have decried the non-inclusion of their members in the newly established Health Sector Reform Committee by the Federal Government.

    The physiotherapists said that besides contributing their quota to the nation’s health sector, some certain health conditions are exclusively managed by them, noting that their exclusion from and the committee was wrong. 

    The President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.) had on Monday approved the establishment of a Health Sector Reform Committee to kick-start the development and implementation of a Health Sector Reform program for Nigeria.

    The committee is to work with the state governments and the Federal Capital Territory Administration.

    The president also appointed Vice President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo as chairman of the committee which is made up of representatives from different professional groups in the health sector as well as the state governors.

    However, speaking with PUNCH HealthWise on this year’s commemoration of World Physiotherapy Day, President, Association of Clinical and Academic Physiotherapists of Nigeria, Dr. Chris Okafor expressed the displeasure over the non-inclusion of his colleagues in the committee.

    Okafor said his colleagues are particularly disturbed by the non-inclusion because members of other healthcare groups in the health sector are represented. 

    According to him, President, Nigerian Medical Association and President, Pharmaceutical Society of Nigeria;

    President, National Association of Nigeria Nurses & Midwives; President, Association of Medical Laboratory Scientists of Nigeria, among others are all members of the Health Reform Committee.

    Okafor who is a Senior Lecturer, Department of Physiotherapy, College of Medicine, University of Lagos, said, “We have presidents and members of the various professional groups in the health sector represented in the committee. 

    “But we did not hear any membership from the association of physiotherapists or a single physiotherapist as a member of the committee.

    “We frown at this non-inclusion of physiotherapists in matters that concern them. 

    “Physiotherapists are stakeholders in the health sector in Nigeria because they contribute their quota in managing certain health conditions.  

    “There are certain health conditions that physiotherapists have exclusive care for.”

    Continuing, the physiotherapist noted, “When you talk about stroke, pain, low back pain, children who are born with deformities, pregnancy-induced back pain, physiotherapists are the ones who manage them. 

    “You have physiotherapists who manage sports injuries, there are also physiotherapists that are into neurology.”

    Speaking on this year’s theme titled, ‘Long COVID and Rehabilitation’, Okafor said physiotherapists play a critical role in managing people who have recovered from COVID-19.

    According to him, healthcare cannot be complete without the contributions of physiotherapists.

    He identified the shortage of jobs, lack of equipment, brain drain, poor remuneration, and working conditions as challenges confronting the physiotherapy practice in Nigeria.

    “There is the inadequacy of jobs for physiotherapists. For example, in a teaching hospital that is supposed to have the employment of 100 physiotherapists, some of them just have about five physiotherapists. Some have 10 while some don’t even have up to that. 

    “Also, in general hospitals which are supposed to have up to 50 physiotherapists, they only have about two or three. 

    “There are even some general hospitals in the country that do not have a single physiotherapist. Besides causing quackery in the system, this lack of physiotherapy experts exposes patients to quacks and also leads to the mismanagement of their conditions”, he said.

    World Physiotherapy Day is celebrated globally on 8 September every year. 

    The day provides an opportunity for physiotherapists from all over the world to raise awareness about the crucial contribution their profession makes to keeping people well, mobile and independent.

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    Dr. Chris Okafor, President, Association of Clinical and Academic Physiotherapists of Nigeria (ACAPN), has called on the Federal Government to ensure the inclusion of physiotherapists in policy-making of the health sector.

    Okafor made the call on Wednesday at the Lagos University Teaching Hospital (LUTH), Idi-Araba, Lagos, as ACAPN joined its counterparts to celebrate the annual World Physiotherapy Day. Our correspondent reports that World Physiotherapy Day is marked annually on Sept. 8 to raise awareness on the important role of physiotherapists in keeping people fit and well. The day was founded on Sept. 8, 1996. It was designed to mark the solidarity of the global physiotherapy community in 1951. On World Physiotherapy Day, the contribution of physiotherapists in society and how they motivate people to stay fit and independent are acknowledged. The 2021 focus is on the role of physical therapists in the management and treatment of people who were affected by long COVID-19.

    Okafor said: “A visit to the Federal Ministry of Health shows that hardly do you see a Director who is a physiotherapist in areas where they are to be heads of unit dispensing quality policies. “And so, when decisions are made on policies that will affect physiotherapy, you find out that physiotherapists are not at the policy-making level. “Non-physiotherapists make the policies and throw it back at physiotherapists; of course, the policy cannot work well because it lacks proficiency. “So, we need physiotherapists in policymaking in the ministries at the federal, state, and local government levels for effective health service delivery. “We also have the problem of neglect or unawareness. Many people in Nigeria think physiotherapy and physiotherapist are all about massage, exercise, and so on.”

    Okafor, also a Senior Lecturer at the Department of Physiotherapy, College of Medicine, University of Lagos (UNILAG), said that COVID-19 helped to open the eyes of people who never knew the role of a cardiopulmonary physiotherapist. “A cardiopulmonary physiotherapist is a specialist who treats and manages chest conditions of patients, takes care of the heart, respiratory system and issues of the patients. “So cardiopulmonary physiotherapists are at the centre, management and rehabilitation of COVID-19 patients in the world,” he said.

    Okafor said that there was no limit to the approaches that physiotherapists could give to patient care. According to him, in Nigeria, almost half of the physiotherapists have traveled abroad due to poor remuneration and unavailability of jobs among other factors. He said that when the government wants to set up and health committee, physiotherapists are hardly mentioned and such action needs to be urgently reviewed. He cited the recent Committee on Health Reform and noted that no physiotherapist was listed, out of the many experts from various fields of medicine. He said the situation was saddening and emphasized the need to recognise the relevance of physiotherapists in the health sector. He, however, used World Physiotherapy Day to ask the Federal Government to ensure the inclusion of physiotherapists as members of health committees.

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    The Association of Clinical and Academic Physiotherapists of Nigeria (ACAPN), has decried the dearth of physiotherapists in both federal and state hospitals in the country.
    The President of ACAPN, Dr. Chris Okafor, said this in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) to celebrate World Physiotherapy Day on Wednesday in Lagos.
    NAN reports that World Physiotherapy Day is marked every Sept. 8, to create awareness about the crucial contribution physiotherapists make to society, enabling people to be mobile, well, and independent.
    This year’s theme is: “Rehabilitation and Long COVID and the role of physiotherapists in the treatment and management of people affected by Long COVID-19.
    Okafor said that many federal, state, and general hospitals did not have physiotherapy departments noting that they only had one or two physiotherapists in their health institutions.

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  • World Physiotherapy Day 2021 Webinar


    It was a great day for Physiotherapists yesterday (September 8, 2021) as the Association of Clinical and Academic Physiotherapists of Nigeria (ACAPN)®️ celebrated her World Physiotherapy Day in a grand style.

    ACAPN, represented by the National President Dr. UAC Okafor and some members of the National Executive Council (NEC) granted press conferences, visited several Radio and TV stations including Bond 92.9 FM Lagos, Radio Nigeria Network, Metro 97.7 Lagos,  103.1fm Radio Unilag, 99.5 Wish Fm Port Harcourt etc talking about the role of Physiotherapists in the management of patients with long COVID and what Physiotherapists do in general.

    This was followed by a wonderful webinar at 2pm on Long COVID and Rehabilitation in line with this year's WPT Day theme. It was well participated by people from different parts of the world. The Speakers were Dr. UAC Okafor, Senior Lecturer University of Lagos and National President ACAPN; Mrs Jessica Shiraku, Head of Rehabilitation at the Nairobi Hospital/Chief Physiotherapist for Athletics Kenya, and Dr. Blessing N. Jonathan, Assistant Director of Physiotherapy & Head of Women's Health and Palliative Care Unit, University of Port Harcourt Teaching Hospital Port Harcourt. It was awesome!

    See you in Lagos next month for EKO 2021. It will be 'gbamsolutely' awesome!

    Long live ACAPN.®️

    Long live Physiotherapy!


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    ACAPN highly appreciates you all for massively participating in our webinar yesterday (June 2021 Edition). It was indeed a great success as the knowledge shared by our awesome presenters was simply superb!
    We also appreciate our Women's Health group led by Dr. Chidiebele Ojukwu who also was one of the presenters and our hardworking scientific council led by Dr. Chidozie E. Mbada for putting this together.
    Stay tuned for July Edition. It promises to be very exciting!

    Long live ACAPN.


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  • NJPR Information for Contributors CRC

    Highly esteemed colleagues,

    The Nigerian Journal of Physiotherapy and Rehabilitation is the official publication of the Association of Clinical and Academic Physiotherapists of Nigeria (ACAPN). It aims at providing an avenue for researchers and practitioners from various specialties in physiotherapy and other rehabilitation-related disciplines to share their ideas and research findings, and foster the use of research in forming public policy.

    Are you an author? Do you want to contribute to the journal?  Click on the link below to get the details you need:

    Long live ACAPN.

    Long live Physiotherapy Profession in Nigeria!

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    Read via the link below:

    This interesting piece published on November 26, 2020 is a must read by all Physiotherapists!

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