The Hyperbaric Medical Practitioners Society of Nigeria (HMPSN) will partner the Nigerian Institute of Medical Research (NIMR) to study the lung function of underwater divers who survived coronavirus disease.
President of the group, Dr Kayode Ogunleye, said this on Thursday during a courtesy to the NIMR in Lagos.
HMPSN is a scientific society dedicated toward promoting the practice and facilitating the study of all aspects of underwater illnesses.
They diagnose, treat and prevent conditions caused by humans entering the undersea environment.
According to him, this was due to the fact that the lung was a critical organ for diving.
He said the group was also willing to push forward other studies that would show usefulness of hyperbaric medicine in the treatment of ailments like stroke, bone injuries, sickle cell anaemia, amongst others.
Ogunleye called on the health sector to embrace hyperbaric medicine.
“We also want a hyperbaric treatment centre because aside from diving related ailments there are other issues that it can help the country with, especially in the area of bone injury, treatment of sickle-cell anaemia and even stroke.
“One of the biggest challenges for divers is their fitness to work in full capacity under challenging conditions.
“Many that undertake in diving activities are experts, not even Nigerians, and we cannot say that we have an industry that can cater for them.
“One of our goals is to draw government’s attention to what is happening offshore so that we can begin to advance the industry in that area,” he said.
Ogunleye also commended the management of the institute for the readiness and capacity they had shown in tackling the COVID-19 pandemic since it arrived Nigeria.
Responding, the Director General of the Institute, Prof. Babatunde Lawal Salako, lauded the group for being proactive enough to think of the drawback of the COVID-19 infection on divers.
Ogunleye added that it was of utmost importance to study the aftermath of the infection on divers whose survival underwater was dependent on their lungs.
“For us as a research institute, we are always willing to break the norm.
“It is not an area we have been researching but I can say that in the last one year, we have done quite a bit about COVID-19 such that we should be able to link it to what you now want us to do.
“I do not think it should be a problem,” he said. (NAN)