Adejugbabe Muyiwa is a physiotherapist, Clinical Director, and Lead Physiotherapist at the Stroke and Spine Rehabilitation Centre (SSRC) NeuroRehab Centre located Surulere area of Lagos. A facility that provides medical solutions for people with neurological conditions.
Recently ipledge2nigeria Lagos correspondent had a chat with him at an outreach programme organised for pregnant women to celebrate the global physiotherapy day of service in Ajegunle a suburb.
In this chat Adejugbabe Muyiwa talks about the project, what government can do to reduce maternal and infant mortality in Nigeria, the brain drain of medical practitioners as well as other sundry issues.
Tell us a bit about this event
We are here to celebrate the global physiotherapy day of service, this is our this is 6th edition, we have been doing this over the years, and every year we use different locations. This year, the theme is movement. So we are moving towards compassion collaboration to provide quality services to indigent expectant mothers.
What informed the choice of Ajegunle?
As physiotherapists, we decided to give back to this demographic of women in the community. We picked Ajegunle community because we have quite a lot of slums. We know how difficult the economy is presently so we are trying our possible best to help pregnant women in this community. And of course, a lot of them, because they are Ill-informed or not properly educated don’t know what is obtainable, especially in such a delicate situation.
When a woman is pregnant she is not only responsible for herself, but she is also responsible for the growing fetus inside of her.
So we collaborated with, pharmacists, midwives, and medical laboratory scientists everyone coming together to empower these women, working in synergy to give them the best healthcare service. According to the World Health Organisation report when it comes to maternal death the majority of the global statistics are from developing countries in Africa and Nigeria is at the baseline and we have high maternal mortality even infant mortality is high.
What services are you providing for these expectant mothers?
We are here to provide comprehensive and basic screening, like malaria tests, blood sugar, blood pressure, pulse, and oxygen saturation, and get to know their lung functions.
Also, we provide consultation. The pharmacist educated them on how to take their drugs while the clinical nutritionists educate and advised what to eat and what not to. Also for those struggling with health conditions like diabetes or hypertension, we have five medical doctors and midwives available to attend to their medical needs. In our own little we want to put a smile on the faces of these women by donating birth kits, food items and baby items for them
What do you think the government can do to reduce maternal and infant mortality in the country?
It is a multifaceted problem that requires everyone including the government to tackle. In the area of education and advocacy, this is what we are doing as an organisation. Ignorance is a very huge pandemic people don’t know what is the right thing to do, especially in terms of their health.
Although the Lagos state government is doing something with the mother and child hospitals across the states which are very subsidised. It is almost free. These facilities should be more available, and accessible to provide optimal health care. A pregnant woman doesn’t need to travel to access these health facilities. It should be located from a trekable distance.
Even these primary health care centres, what is the quality? We have a physiotherapist that specialises in women’s health, which is very much integral to the well-being of pregnant women. Some women develop back pain, and some pregnant mother who delivered through CS needs a physiotherapist to help them strengthen their abdominal muscles. For some who go through vagina delivery and have vagina prolapse, physiotherapists need to help them exercise the muscles of their pelvic floor.
So how many of those centres do you have a physiotherapist, gynaecologist or obstetrician with a general practitioner to attend to them?
The government can be playing its part, but money motivates. When the numeration is very poor people will not be motivated to give their best. The government has a lot to do, the legislature also needs to put in laws that will compel the hands of the government to execute and implement. And the citizens also should not destroy these facilities when they are provided.
The private sector too, because we need a private, public partnership. When it comes to pregnant women, medical insurance should be affordable. So that irrespective of where they are, they can have access to quality maternal primary health care.
We know the whole brain drain going on in the country, our best brains are leaving.
Why is it that medical practitioners who went to school at a very affordable rate in Nigeria are the ones cheating the system by leaving the country when they should give back to the country?
As a physiotherapist, it is normal for humans to be selfish, people want to think about themselves first and you really can’t blame them. Doctors have been asking for hazard allowance for years.
I worked during Covid-19, and I actual treated Covid-19. Now, I am still treating people with lung Covid-19 syndrome. People that have recovered but they still have some squealing of Covid-19, in their breathing they are getting tired, and they are getting lethargic we still manage them. Now risking our lives, and that of our loved ones out there. Yes, the fact that we have subsidised medical education, can’t be denied, my colleagues who schooled in the United States of America or Canada are still paying their student loans a decade after graduating. But our subsidised education should not be to our detriment. and not jeopardising our family lives. Because at the end of the day look at the number of medical doctors who have died from treating patients with Lassa fever, what happened?