Celebrating World Spine Day, an annual event in the medical field that takes place on October 16 and aims to raise awareness about the significance of spine health, educate people about its seriousness, and encourage people to take better care of their spines. Dr. Biodun Ogungbo, a consultant neurosurgeon at the Brain and Spine Surgery Consortium (BASS), has urged the government to lower taxes on medical equipment in order to improve spine surgeries and treatments.
Speaking in an interview that was held in Abuja by the News Agency of Nigeria in honor of World Spine Day, Dr. Ogungbo shared these thoughts. According to him, customs, NAFDAC, and NDLEA were levying a charge on the importation of equipment and consumables at airports and seaports. He, therefore, encouraged the government to investigate the matter and remove blockages of this kind in order to protect the people. Patients who are experiencing troubles with their spines are not benefiting from the present economic situation in Nigeria.
Taxation of medical facilities is hindering access to health care.
Currently, the necessary equipment and consumables for surgery have to be imported at very high prices, making the cost of spine surgeries and therapy rise. Because of this, it is of the utmost importance for people to take care of their spines and avoid experiencing pain in the neck and back, as well as spine injuries and infections. Dr. Ogungbo noted that hospitals, especially private health facilities, were currently being affected by multiple taxations from government bodies.
It was his opinion that endoscopic spine surgery and minimally invasive spine surgery were becoming more advanced in the country. Dr. Ogungbo believed that there are a lot of problems with open operations and a lot of complications that can be prevented by making fewer incisions and smaller wounds. Endoscopic surgery, in particular when performed on patients who are able to reap the benefits of it, leads to no blood loss, a quicker recovery, and an early return to work.
World Spine Day aims to raise awareness of spine health.
In the same stance, the 2022 World Spine Day is themed “EVERY SPINE COUNTS” and it emphasizes the diversity of spinal pain and disability as part of the global burden of disease and addresses the need for access to quality essential spinal health services worldwide. With an estimation of 540 million people in the world suffering from low back pain at any one time, it remains the leading cause of years lived with disability.
The campaign challenges governments, communities, and public health organizations all around the world to demonstrate a stronger commitment to the fight against spinal pain and disability. The lack of access to appropriate spine treatment and rehabilitation in under-served communities is another issue that is brought to light on World Spine Day. This lack of access leads to chronic conditions and permanent deformities. Spinal pain and disability are not merely small inconveniences for many different populations; rather, they might mean being unable to work and hence not being able to support one’s own needs.
Nigeria is improving access to medical facilities and specialists.
Now that Nigeria has better medical facilities and access to specialists, it is essential that patients seek care in the country. He noted an improvement in the ability to handle spine abnormalities and carry out safe and successful surgeries. Dr. Ogungbo explained that while the expenditures were lower than travelling abroad, it’s still a large amount for the common person. However, for many people, the best course of action was to continue putting their attention on spinal health and problem prevention.
World Spine Day: Website