The Nigeria Society of Physiotherapy ( NSP ) says it is a professional body of specialists and critical arm of healthcare delivery.
The National Public Relation Officer of the society, Mrs Peggy Olaseinde, said this in a statement made available to the News men on Wednesday in Sokoto.
Olaseinde underscored the need for the NSO to correct public misconceptions on their professional roles and deliberate attempts to undermine their functions in the health sector.
“We are constrained to correct misconception portrayed to the general public and also to address a recurring attitude of some groups who maliciously belittle and demean other qualified medical professionals,’’ she said.
The spokesperson said that the attention of the society was drawn to some misconceptions from a recent interview granted by the Minister of Health on a television programme titled “Hard Copy’’.
“The minister claimed that the President’s son did not go abroad for treatment but for rehabilitation thereby suggesting that rehabilitation was not a form or part of treatment.
“We have been inundated with calls inquiring whether there are no qualified Physiotherapists in Nigeria who could have undertaken the Rehabilitation aspect of the management of the President’s son after he was treated by Medical Doctors.
“The NSP frowns at any deliberate attempt to undermine the contributions of the Physiotherapy profession to a holistic approach to management of health conditions especially orthopaedic and neurological conditions.
“We consider the Minister’s response to the question by the anchor of the programme that Mr President’s son had to go for rehabilitation abroad.
“When he was treated by Nigerian doctors as a tacit validation of allusions that other health professionals do not have the competence required to deliver quality healthcare – a position the NSP has always found ridiculous,” the statement read in part.
She said according to the World Health Organisation ( WHO ) in a published document, the International Standard Classification of Occupation ( ISCO code 2264 ), defines and classifies PHYSIOTHERAPY as an INDEPENDENT PROFESSION.
“WHO clearly did not and would never refer to Physiotherapists as PARAMEDICAL STAFF, a point that must be emphasised.
“Physiotherapists assess, plan and implement rehabilitation programmes that improve or restore human motor functions.
“They also maximise movement abilities, relieve pain syndromes and treat or prevent physical challenges associated with injuries; diseases and other impairments.
“They apply a broad range of physical therapies and techniques such as movement, ultrasound, heating laser and other techniques.
“They may develop and implement programmes for screening and prevention of common physical ailments and disorders,’’ Olaseinde said.
Olaseinde explained that physiotherapists are skilled to provide care in several areas, including elderly care, intensive care, mental health, occupational health, outpatient department, women’s health, orthopaedics, paediatrics and stroke services.
According to her, there over 250 trained specialist physiotherapists in Neurophysiotherapy (Neurological physiotherapy) and over 500 specialists trained orthopaedic physiotherapists in the country.
2The spokesperson said that NSP members would have conveniently conducted the president son’s post operative rehabilitation, if they had been invited.