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Exercises essential in the prevention and management of non-communicable diseases – Physiotherapists

Vaseline 1 month ago

By Folasade Akpan

The Nigerian Association of Physiotherapists (NSP) has advised Nigerians to practice daily exercises, which are essential in the prevention and treatment of Non-Communicable Diseases (NCDs).

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

According to him, the health benefits that can accrue from physical activities include the prevention and treatment of non-communicable diseases such as heart disease, stroke, diabetes and cancer.

We are here to advise people on why they should always be physically active, exercise regularly and to educate them on why exercise is important, even though many people take it for granted.

“We are also here to create awareness about NTDs such as diabetes, hypertension, cancer risk, heart disease and even musculoskeletal pain and problems that easily lead to disability.

“Within the mix here we have many people who have some form of disability and it gives us great joy to meet the people who 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 the Federal Government has made it a priority to cover every Nigerian under the healthcare scheme.

“This has also brought rehabilitation to the fore, as previously it was only about prevention and treatment in primary healthcare.

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

“Our goal is to continue to raise awareness about what we do, and to be able to reach out to communities and people with physical disabilities, and see what we as physiotherapists can do to help.”

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

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

He explained that “there is an exercise prescription, which is the minimum exercise that helps a person optimize their fitness.”

Referring to the World Health Organization (WHO) recommendation, he said a normal adult should do at least one hour of exercise every week.

“So we encourage that as normal adults, whether you are sick or not, you do at least 15 minutes of exercise every day throughout the week and that will give you the recommended one hour of exercise needed to optimize fitness.

“Exercise is prescribed based on patients’ threshold.

There are patients who cannot do even one minute of exercise, so it is prescribed according to the needs or the type of disease a person is suffering from.

“For people suffering from osteoarthritis it is difficult to perform these exercises themselves, and in that case they will need the help of physiotherapists.”

He added that those who experience pain and can still exercise can do something that is not too strenuous and do not need to use the gym.

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

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

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

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

She commended the association for reaching out to the community, adding that many do not bother to seek medical care if they are not financially able to do so.

Miss Precious Awolowo, another resident who suffers from chest pain due to heavy labor, said the outreach was an added benefit to her.

She says this is because she will be meeting professionals who she may have to travel to hospitals in the city and wait in long lines before she can see them.

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

Edited by Hadiza Mohammed-Aliyu