400 people to benefit from Lagos’ free limb deformity intervention, 80 children to undergo corrective surgery

No fewer than 400 people will benefit from the latest phase of the Lagos State Government sponsored Free Limb Deformity Corrective Surgery and Rehabilitative Programme – an intervention programme targeted at rehabilitating people, especially children, with lower limb deformities such as rickets or Blount disease, and other lower limb deformities that affect their normal growth and function.

The Permanent Secretary, Lagos State Ministry of Health, Dr. Olusegun Ogboye, disclosed this during his visit to the screening site for the latest batch of beneficiaries at the Lagos State University Teaching Hospital on Monday.

According to him, the current phase of the exercise has recorded over 400 potential beneficiaries, who will be screened over a period of two days, while appropriate medical examinations are conducted.

He explained that during the current phase, 80 children will benefit from corrective surgical intervention, just as others will be offered physiotherapy, nutrition and health education as well as assistive mobility devices that will improve their health.

Ogboye noted that the results of their examination will be reviewed by a team of specialists and those that qualify for surgery will be booked for surgical intervention within the next 10 days, adding that the process will be at no cost to the patients.

He said: “The process involves a screening where surgeons examine patients and select those eligible to benefit from surgery and others that may benefit from assistive devices and other forms of physical rehabilitation. Those who pre-qualify for surgery will then go through a series of diagnostic investigations including x-rays and blood tests to check for the form of the bone malformation, calcium levels and other basic parameters. Patients are then offered surgery and kept overnight for observation”.

“This is supervised by our team of orthopaedic surgeons, anaesthetists, nurses and other health professionals. After discharge, patients will come for follow-up visits at the clinic, and then also go through physiotherapy to ensure we get the best outcomes”, the Permanent Secretary added.

He noted that many of the limb deformities, which can be corrected by surgery and rehabilitation, will improve the health status of the beneficiaries and give a greater sense of self-worth, stating that the patients would have better chances for economic empowerment and financial independence.

His words: “This programme often leads to improved mobility and health outcomes for the beneficiaries, and allows us to demonstrate our commitment as a State to develop our human capital and give our children a good platform to achieve their dreams and aspirations”.

“The programme also allows us to generate data to create other targeted disability intervention strategies to help more people that may have been disadvantaged healthwise in one way or another”, Ogboye said.

Speaking in the same vein, the Coordinator of the Programme, Dr. Tolulope Ajomale, noted that over 6,000 patients have benefitted from the programme since inception, adding that the programme has evolved into a multidisciplinary surgical outreach programme that explores surgical intervention, physiotherapy and assistive mobility devices to improve their health.

He noted that the programme, usually held biannually, was interrupted by the COVID-19 pandemic, stressing that the surgical and rehabilitative intervention programme has been rejigged to ameliorate the suffering of patients and their families.

Ajomale added that the massive turnout of potential beneficiaries at the screening exercise is an affirmation of the impact the programme has on citizens who have benefitted from the programme, stressing that another screening exercise will be organised before the end of the year to expand the window for more potential beneficiaries.

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