From Mustapha Adamu, Kano
Spinal cord injury patients have called on President Muhammadu Buhari to approve the establishment of rehabilitation center for them in Northern Nigeria to ease their suffering.
The patients have also revealed that about seventy percent of them are from poor families that cannot afford medical expenses of the ailment.
Speaking at the inauguration meeting of Northern branch of the Spinal Cord Society, held at Mallam Aminu Kano Teaching Hospital (AKTH) in Kano, yesterday, acting chairman of the group, Abdul’aziz Ibrahim said the essence of forming the association is to help themselves ease their suffering.
According to him, persons with spinal code injury are in a difficult situation which needs to be told to the world in order to come to their aid, adding that most of them cannot afford to pay the exorbitant medical expenses of the ailment.
Ibrahim, who is the chairman of the Sokoto State Association of Spinal Cord Injury Persons disclosed that the society, if actualized, would be up and doing in bringing succour to their members through, legislation, enlightenment and advocacy, among others
Part of the group’s thrust, according to the acting chairman, is to urge the federal government to establish rehabilitation center for them in the northern Nigeria, noting that there is no such facility in the whole region.
“You would not understand our condition unless if you are also suffering from the same ailment. This is the ailment that make a person live a miserable life.
” Its expenses are exorbitant while about 70 percent of the patients are from poor family. They cannot afford the medical expenses. MRI scanning alone is N65, 000 to N75,000. Surgery is about N1.5 million.
“So these factors, among others, are what prompted us to form a society to help ourselves out. It is in this light we wish to call on President Buhari to approve for establishment of rehabilitation center for us,” Ibrahim said
He added, “We will make sure that, this society, comprising of all the 19 northern states, has become powerful in a bid to help ourselves.”
Part of the resolutions of the meeting, according to Ibrahim, was the adoption of name of the society as Arewa Spinal Cord Injury Society of Nigeria (ASCIN), adding that they will soon embark on registration with Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC).
In his remarks, the representative of Northern Elders Forum (NEF) Nastura Shariff said he has been assigned by the forum to represent it in the meeting in view of its importance.
Shariff, who is the chairman of Northern Youth Coalition, said the NEF had pledged to sponsor registration of the arewa spinal cord injury society with CAC, adding that his group would also help the society to take off.