Exercises essential in preventing, managing non-communicable diseases – Physiotherapists

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By Folasade Akpan

Nigerian Society of Physiotherapists (NSP) has advised Nigerians to engage in daily exercises, essential in preventing and treating Non-Communicable Diseases (NCDs).

Dr Nnamdi Eze, the Chairman, FCT Chapter of the society, gave the advice on Saturday during a medical outreach at Model Primary Health Centre, Naharat in Abaji Area Council of the FCT.

According to him, health benefits to be derived from physical activities include prevention and management of NCDs such as heart disease, stroke, diabetes and cancers.

” We are here to advise the people on why they should always be physically active, regularly move around and to enlighten them about why exercises are  important, though a lot of people take it for granted.

“We are also here to create awareness about NTDs like diabetes, high blood pressure, risk of cancer, heart disease, and even musculoskeletal pain and issues that easily lead to disability.

“Within the mix here, we have a lot of people who have some form of disability or the other and it gives us a lot of joy that we are meeting the people that need our help at the point of their needs, which is in their community.”

Eze also said that achieving Universal Health Coverage (UHC) has become  important “and Federal Government has made it a priority to have every Nigerian covered in the healthcare scheme.

” This has made rehabilitation also take the centre stage as it used to be only prevention and treatment that were within the primary healthcare setting.

“Now we have rehabilitation, which means people in communities can have direct access to professionals, and as members of NSP, we will start by creating that initial impact.

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“Our aim is to continue to create awareness about what we do, and to be able to reach out to communities and to people who have physical disability, and see what we can do as physiotherapists to help.”

Eze also said that the outreach would be carried out in other area councils of the FCT.

The Vice Chairman of the society, Dr Abioye Ayodele, said there is minimum requirement of exercise for optimum performance for people who are physically fit.

He explained that “there is exercise prescription which is the minimum exercise that helps someone to optimise fitness.”

Referring to World Health Organisation’s (WHO) recommendation, he said a normal adult should have a minimum of one hour exercise every week.

“So, we encourage that as normal adults, whether sick or not, you have a minimum of 15 minutes of exercise every day within the week and that will give you the recommended one hour of exercise needed to optimise fitness.

“Exercise is prescribed based on the threshold of patients.

” There are some patients who cannot even do one minute exercise, so it is prescribed based on  requirements or the type of sickness that a person is suffering from.

“For those suffering from osteoarthritis, it is difficult for them to carry out these exercises for themselves, and in that case, they will require the services of  physiotherapists.”

He added that for those experiencing  pains and could still exercise, they could do something not too strenuous and would not need to use the gym.

Ayodele said that even for those who are wheelchair-bound, unconscious, conscious or obese, they all have specific exercises.

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Some of the beneficiaries of the outreach said it was a good gesture on the part of the society, as it would help members of the community access healthcare free of charge.

Mrs Aishatu Usman, a resident, said she developed waist pain after she was involved in a motorcycle accident some months ago.

According to her, meeting the physiotherapists will help her get the right treatment she needs to take care of the pain.

She commended the society for reaching out to the community, adding that many do not bother to seek medical help if they are not financially capable.

Miss Precious Awolowo, another resident who suffers from chest pain due to hard labour, said the outreach was an added advantage to her.

According to her, this is because she will be meeting with professionals whom she may have to travel to hospitals in the city and wait in long queues before seeing.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that items distributed to some patients include crutches, walking aids, wheelchairs and topical analgesics. (NAN)(www.nannews.ng)

Edited by Hadiza Mohammed-Aliyu

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