The Nigerian Spine Society (NSS) has said that between 10 and 15million Nigerians require spine care now and in the next few years.
The president of the society, Dr Omotayo Ojo, made the disclosure yesterday in Abuja during a cocktail party ahead of the NSS annual conference.
The theme of the conference is, ‘Advancing spine care in Nigeria.’
Ojo, who is also a consultant neurosurgeon and head of neurosurgery at the Lagos State University Teaching Hospital (LASUTH), Idi-Araba, said spine care constituted 50per cent of the cases a neur surgeon sees in a day.
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He said spine care in Nigeria had recorded some improvements compared to 10 to 15 years ago when there was dearth of specialists and treatment centres
He said, “Ten to 15 years ago, whoever needed spine care had to go to Abuja, Lagos and Kano, but now, you can get care in every state of the country because many are training in the field. You don’t have to wait or go abroad to receive care.”
However, he said the number of spine surgeons in Nigeria was not enough to carter for the over 200million population, adding, “We need at least 20,000 more to be comfortable and for them to be readily available everywhere.”
While saying that the cost of spine surgeries depends on the nature of the cases, he said the average cost of spine surgery was N500,000 and above.
He said the cost of spine care was usually beyond the reach of many Nigerians affected by the condition, adding that government’s intervention through health insurance would go a long way in helping to assist sufferers.