By Cecilia Ologunagba
Kano – International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), Nigeria delegation, says it has rehabilitated no fewer than 608 amputees of bomb blast and other explosions from the North-East since 2016.
ICRC’s Ortho – Prosthetist, Ms Idah Kadyamatimba disclosed this to News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) correspondent, who visited ICRC Prosthetic and Orthotic Centre at National Orthopaedic Hospital, Dala (NOHD), Kano on Wednesday.
Prosthetics and orthotics are clinical disciplines that deal with artificial limbs (prostheses) for people with amputations and supportive devices (orthoses) for people with musculo-skeletal weakness or neurological disorders.
Kadyamatimba said the centre had rehabilitated the amputees referred from the North East through the provision of artificial limbs and or legs to assist them live normal life.
She said ICRC, under its Prosthetic Rehabilitation Programme (PRP), had been partnering with NOHD, Kano, to rehabilitate people with disabilities who were affected by arm conflict and some accidents victims.
“They (NOHD) gave up this section of the department and we use it to rehabilitate people with disabilities mainly from the North East of Nigeria.
“Our teams (health teams) in North East, Maiduguri the people who were amputated, after they are completely healed, they are referred here for rehabilitation; we provide them with prosthetics or orthotics devices so that they can continue to do their activities of daily life.
“Since 2016 to date, we have assisted 608 individuals which have come through this centre and since January, 2019, we have helped 227 people with disabilities and of the 227, 48 of them female and 35 children.
“They come with different types of disabilities, mainly lower limb amputations and upper limb.
According to her, the centre receives maximum of five amputees from North East weekly for rehabilitation.
“We have even gone a step further to empower some of them because life could be difficult after suffering that kind of disability.
“ In ICRC, we look at holistic approach to rehabilitation, whereby we address the physical need, we provide prosthetics and we also look at how we economically support these people,’’ she said.
Some of the beneficiaries, who shared their experiences with NAN were grateful for the support given to them to walk again and to get back to their sources of livelihood.
Mr Alamin Inuwa, a civil servant, who was affected by the January 10th, 2019 bomb blast in Maiduguri, narrated his experience.
“I was going to 33 Barracks in Maiduguri from my house when an explosion occurred and my right limb was affected. I spent three months in the ICRC Surgical ward at Maiduguri Specialist Hospital.
“I came to Kano on Monday to start the rehabilitation process. I appreciate the effort of ICRC for supporting me and the way they took care of me when I was in the hospital,’’ he said.
Similarly, Ibrahim Umar, a tailor, who had an accident in Maiduguri seven years ago, had lost hope of walking again after he lost the right limb.
“I gave up hope in life and I am happy with the artificial limb, I will be able to go back to my tailoring work,’’ Umar said.
In addition, Sadiq Muktar, a 12-year-old student, who lost his right limb in January 2019, got it fitted back with artificial limb.
Muktar, a Primary School student said he had gone back to school and would like to become a Medical Doctor in future to give back to society the support he had received from ICRC.
Also, Binta Usman, a 23-year-old woman, who lost her legs to Polio at the age four years, was excited that she could walk now and even ride tricycles with the support given to her at the centre.
Usman, a resident of Kano, who studied Health Science worked as a part time job staff in medical dispensary, administering drugs and even injections to patients.
“I am happy that I am back to work. I will like to go to back for my degree and study Pharmacy. I can go far in life with this support and my dream will be achieved,’’ she said.
Mr Suleiman Isa, a Prosthetist in the centre said Usman was supported with orthotics devices to support her weak limbs so that she can walk again.
NAN reports that the ICRC, established in 1863, works worldwide to ensure humanitarian protection and assistance for people affected by conflict and armed violence.
ICRC has been working in Nigeria for more than 30 years, operating in 20 states to alleviate the sufferings of people affected by conflicts and armed violence.