World Polio Day: Minister promises more centres for Post-Polio Syndrome

Minister of Health, Dr Osagie Ehanire, on Tuesday in Abuja, promised to create more centres for Post-Polio Syndrome (PPS) in the country.

Ehanire made the promise at the Cedarcrest Polio Week event and Continuing Professional Development (CPD) approved lecture, organised by The Cedarcrest Polio Centre.


News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that The Cedarcrest Polio Centre in Abuja is a collaborative, non-profit initiative between Cedarcrest Hospitals, Rotary Club of Koblenz, Germany, the Polio Centre of the Catholic Hospital Koblenz/Montabaur and Ottobock, a German prosthetics company in Duderstadt, responsible for several innovations in prosthetics.

The aim of the lecture is to educate people living with residual deformities after suffering from an acute poliomyelitis infection about
available treatment.

The minister, who was represented by Dr Sanni Gwazo, Director in the minister’s office, acknowledged that while much had been done in the area of active disease eradication, not much had been done in organising care for affected persons in the country.

He noted that an estimated number of between two and three million Nigerians may be living with the damage of paralytic poliomyelitis.


He said “delighted about the treatment of people suffering from the fallout of paralytic poliomyelitis; documentation and research related to people suffering the effect
of polio.

“Such an initiative is timely and the Federal Ministry of Health, under my leadership, will do everything to encourage the emergence of more of such centres.”

The minister said that there are modern protocols to treating persons living with polio paralysis ranging from diagnostic procedures to specific

He explained that the treatment included the application of orthotic devices, specific specialised surgical procedures, custom mobility
assistance with crutches or manual and power wheelchairs.

Orthotics is a medical specialty that focuses on the design and application of orthoses. An orthosis is an externally applied device used to modify the structural and functional characteristics of the neuromuscular and skeletal system.


Ehanire noted that it was Nigerians’ collective social responsibility to ensure that people living with disabilities, including polio-induced
disabilities achieved the maximum they could get.

The minister called on Nigerians to ensure that their children were immunised against polio.

Dr Felix Ogedegbe, the Medical Director of Cedarcrest Hospital, said that for the first time in Nigeria, people affected by polio would
receive medical care and free assessment and treatment.

Ogedegbe said that the centre would run as non-profit organisation and would aim to bring advanced post-polio care to reach
millions of Nigerians living with complications of poliomyelitis.


The medical director said that as Nigeria continued to work toward the eradication of the threat of polio in the country, there was need
to provide support services to polio survivors.

He added that “our centre works with the support of Rotary Club of Koblenz, Germany, the Polio Centre of the Catholic Hospital Koblenz/Montabaur
and Ottobock, to connect polio survivors, share information and resources to polio survivors.

“We try to shine light on the post-polio syndrome that some of them live with.”

He said that many polio survivors suffer from treatable medical complications and preventable secondary deterioration while the medical community in general, was unaware of recent advances in polio care.


He, however, urged organisations, agencies, philanthropists and meaningful Nigerians to come on board and support people
affected by polio to fight PPS.

Meanwhile, the international community is set to commemorate the 2019 World Polio Day.