Abuja/Geneva- The first physical rehabilitation centre in the Borno state capital Maiduguri opens today, bringing physical rehabilitation services to hundreds of people living with physical disabilities in Nigeria’s conflict-stricken northeast. The centre, which will be run by the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), is projected to serve more than 2,000 people in need of prosthetic limbs, wheelchairs, crutches and mobility devices by 2022.
“We have seen through our other physical rehabilitation centres how life-changing these services are. At times, people come to us crawling, and they go back walking on their feet,” said Idah Kadyamatimba, ICRC’s physical rehabilitation programme manager.
“Because of this new centre, patients will no longer have to undertake a long journey to Kano or other states to receive care.”
Before the opening of the centre in Maiduguri, people living with disabilities often had to travel to another ICRC facility in Kano, a journey that can take 7 hours by road.
“The centre epitomizes one of the definitions of making physical rehabilitation services accessible and as close as possible to people in need,” said Mr Eloi Fillion, ICRC’s head of delegation in Nigeria. “We are proud to have worked with the University of Maiduguri Teaching Hospital to make this centre a reality.”
The new physical rehabilitation centre in Maiduguri will provide a wide range of services and mobility devices such as artificial limbs, wheelchairs and crutches, and offer physiotherapy and mental health psycho-social support to people with disabilities. The facility will start operating with 34 staff, eight of whom are people with disabilities who have undergone physical rehabilitation with the ICRC. The centre was financed through the innovative funding mechanism called “The Humanitarian Impact Bond” created to encourage social investment from the private sector to support the ICRC’s health programs.
Nigeria’s President Muhammadu Buhari inaugurated the new facility via video conference today, along with Nigeria’s Health Minister, Dr. Osagie Ehanire, Borno State’s Executive Governor Professor Babagana Umara Zulum among other dignitaries who attended the ceremony.
The ICRC is the world’s largest provider of physical rehabilitation services in countries experiencing armed conflict and violence. In 2019, the ICRC assisted over 420,000 people with disabilities in more than 30 countries. In Nigeria, the ICRC will continue supporting the physical rehabilitation centre in Kano where 314 people with disabilities received assistance in 2019. The ICRC has been assisting people with disabilities in Nigeria since 1979.
For further information, please contact:
Fatima Sator, Public Relations Officer (English), ICRC Abuja,+41 779 265 412 (whatsapp)
Aliyu Dawobe, Public Relations Officer (Hausa & English), ICRC Abuja, +234 802 841 7085
Crystal Wells, Regional Spokesperson, ICRC Nairobi, +254 716 897 265
To find out what the ICRC is doing to put an end to attacks on health workers and patients, go to icrc.org/eng/life-death
Source : Icrc