The National Orthopaedic Hospital, Dala in Kano State, is presented with more cases of spinal cord injury every week than it is equipped to handle, its Chief Medical Director, Muhammad Nuhu, has said.
The hospital, which is the only referral centre for spinal cord injury cases in Northern Nigeria, receives about 10 new patients weekly but only has eight beds for them.
Mr. Nuhu, an orthopaedic surgeon, disclosed this on Tuesday at an event to mark the World Spinal Cord Injury Day in Kano.
He said the major cause of spinal cord injury in developing countries like Nigeria is road accident.
“About seven out of ten cases of spinal cord injury in Nigeria are caused by road accidents, while the remaining are due to falling from trees, hills or buildings,” he said.
He explained that although the hospital has eight beds for spinal cord injury patients, it receives 10 new cases weekly.
Mr. Nuhu noted that first aid treatment for road accident victims by non-professionals often complicate the cases in Nigeria, as it injures the spinal cord.
“In developed countries, first aid to accident victims is handled by professionals who are trained on handling emergency cases,” he said.
In her remarks, the coordinator of Rebuilding Hope on Wheels Initiative, a non-governmental organisation advocating for the welfare of spinal cord injury patients in Kano, Amina Audu, called on the Nigerian government to establish a modern rehabilitation centre for the patients.
She said there are over 100 people suffering from spinal cord injury in Kano alone.
The theme of this year’s World Spinal Cord Injury Day celebration is “Yes we can.”