There is an urgent need to declare a state of emergency in physiotherapy practice in Nigeria because the nation currently has just about one thousand employed physiotherapists as against about forty two thousand required to cater for Nigerians, Mr Taiwo Oyewumi, president, Nigeria Society of Physiotherapy (NSP) has said.
Oyewumi, in a statement released on behalf of NSP in commemoration of the 2015 World Physiotherapy Day held in September, said it is now pertinent to have a national policy on physiotherapy and medical rehabilitation, considering the recent global upsurge of non-communicable and lifestyle diseases.
The NSP president, while also lamenting dearth of physiotherapy equipment required for diagnosis and intervention in Nigeria, tasked the Federal Ministry of Health to create a new directorate for physiotherapy and rehabilitation, adding that this would boost decision and policy making on physiotherapy and medical rehabilitation issues.
Oyewumi noted that increasing evidence supports the value of physiotherapy in health care, explaining that physiotherapy as a client-centered profession helping to optimise quality of life is the art and science of helping people to move and function throughout their lifespan.
He stated further that physiotherapists help in the promotion of a healthy lifestyle, prevention of illness and injury for those at risk, as well as rehabilitation following injury or impairment of function.
Oyewumi implored the Nigerian government to, as a matter of urgency, open discussion with the NSP and set up world class rehabilitation centres in the six geo-political zones in the country for the benefit of Nigerians.
The World Physical Day, also celebrated as World Physiotherapy Day, is marked every 8 September by physiotherapists around the world to raise the profile of the profession and highlight its contribution to global health. The theme for the 2015 World Physiotherapy Day according to the World Conference of Physical Therapy (WCPT) was “Fulfilling Potential.”
The NSP, the umbrella body for all physiotherapists in Nigeria was founded in 1959.