….as stakeholders give overwhelming support
By Haruna Salami
A Bill seeking to amend the Orthopedic Hospitals Management Board Act to establish the Orthopedic Hospital, Dekina, Kogi state received overwhelming support Wednesday at a public hearing organised by the Senate Committee on Health.
Senator Isah Jibrin representing Kogi East who sponsored the bill said “Kogi East senatorial district where the hospital is proposed to be sited comprises of nine local government areas of Ankpa, Bassa, Dekina, Ibaji, Idah, Igalamela-Odolu, Ofu, Olamaboro and Omala with a population of over two million people.
He said the senatorial district, like many others in the North Central geo-political zone is primarily agrarian economy, adding that the nature of the occupation of the people entails orthopedic hazards, especially as it relates to palm fruits harvest and similar activities.
The proposed Orthopedic Hospital Dekina is to be affiliated to the Prince Abubakar Audu University Teaching Hospital, Anyigba to facilitate access to orthopedic healthcare services, provide facilities for diagnosis, curative, promotive and rehabilitative services.
Senator Jibrin said the need to amend the Act to establish the Orthopedic Hospital Dekina is “amplified by the empirical research reports that between 2017 and 2019 about 3,918 farmers in Kogi East fell off palm trees , leading to severe bone crises with 98% being treated by traditional bone setters”.
“Apart from farm hazards, there is an increasing incidence of road traffic accidents and gunshot wounds, with concomitant major vascular and bone damage in the senatorial district.
Unfortunately, many of the victims don’t have access to orthopedic hospitals and are forced to embrace the services of traditional bone setters who lack the knowledge of “anatomy, physiology or radiography” leading to life-threatening complications such as “acute compartment syndrome, tetanus, deformities, chronic osteomyelitis, gangrene, amputation and deaths in many cases”.
Other complications arising from lack of proper Orthopedic care, according to Jibrin include mal-union, and non-union of fractures, soft tissue infections, chronic unreduced joint dislocation, joint stiffness and ankylosis, septic arthritis, pressure sores and blisters iatrogenic fractures and other injuries, leaving most affected patients who are young and in their productive years disabled.
“The right to life and dignity of the human person guaranteed under the Constitution is what this bill seeks to promote through the proposed hospital”, Senator Jibrin said.
“The existing orthopedic hospitals in Nigeria are quite distant as many patients in transit die. It is therefore, a case of extreme emergency to amend the Act to establish the proposed hospital in Dekina Local Government Area of Kogi East, in order to facilitate the welfare of the people as provided in the Constitution”, Jibrin emphasised.
The Chairman, Senate Committee on Health (Secondary and Tertiary), Senator Ibrahim Oloriegbe, himself a medical doctor, who presided over the public hearing assured his colleagues from Kogi state and other stakeholders, including medical personnel, who came in solidarity with the bill that their views would be taken seriously in the overall interest of the people.