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Medical Director Enjoins Physiotherapist to Embrace Telerehabilitation

… As General Hospital Ifako-Ijaiye Celebrates World Physiotherapy Day

The Medical Director, General Hospital, Ifako Ijaiye, Dr. Bamidele Mustapha has enjoined physiotherapists in the country to embrace Telerehabilitation, also known as e-rehabilitation, due to the emergence of COVID-19.

Dr. Mustapha made the call on Wednesday in his address at an event to mark Y2021 World Physiotherapy Day, noting that Telerehabilitation would allow patients to interact with providers remotely and can also be used to assess patients and deliver therapy.

Represented at the event by the HoD, Community Health, and Secretary, Nigerian Medical Association, Lagos Chapter, Dr. Ime Maria Okon, he described the method as the delivery of rehabilitation services over telecommunication networks and the internet, stressing that the practice will allow health professionals start adapting to changes in conformity with global trends necessitated by the pandemic.

“Telerehabilitation should be considered as a coping mechanism in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic. People don’t need to be physically present at the hospital all the time to access healthcare services. It will also help everyone to follow all safety rules and regulations of social distancing”, he stated.

Speaking on the theme of Y2021 World Physiotherapy Day, “Rehabilitation and Long COVID-19”, Mustapha said the day is devoted to creating awareness, recognizing, and highlighting the services of physiotherapists to their patients and community despite facing unnecessary risks from the ravaging virus.

He explained that physiotherapists play crucial roles in the rehabilitation process of a patient convalescing from an ailment, adding that the rehabilitation for individuals recovering from COVID-19, which is still relatively new, should differ from person to person and should be based on their fitness level.

Dr. Mustapha said: “To optimize recovery, consider symptoms management and other factors beyond physical activity. Above all, in this hospital, we appreciate our physiotherapists for making sure our patients are well, mobile and independent. We will continue to support them to enhance their capacity and performance towards full recovery.”

The Head, Physiotherapy Department of the hospital, Mr. Victor Akande, affirmed that rehabilitation for long COVID-19 patients is tailored to the individual as well as full consideration of the symptoms, reiterating that safe and effective rehabilitation is a fundamental part of recovery.

Listing the exercise prescription for Long COVID-19 patients, Akande maintained that the exercise should be approached with care to minimize risk and ensure the implementation is restorative rather than exacerbating the individual’s symptoms.

“Breathing exercises can help restore diaphragm function and increase lung capacity after COVID-19 ailment, as well as help deal with feelings of anxiety and stress. Your breathing should be effortless and quiet, if you can hear your breathing you may be overdoing the exercise”, he said.

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