Roles of physiotherapy in primary health care: Awareness and perceptions of other health care professionals in Rivers East Senatorial District, Rivers State, Nigeria
Akeneh, Ukari Josiah Smith
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BACKGROUND: Access to basic health care services through the primary health care (PHC) settings, was affirmed as a fundamental human right by the World health organisation (WHO) in 1978 in Alma Ata (Kazakhstan). Internationally, interdisciplinary collaboration among health care professionals (HCPs) have been the preferred approach to addressing the health and psychosocial needs of the populace. The PHC being the first point of contact for most Nigerians and the cornerstone of health care policies in Nigeria, covers promotive, preventative, curative and rehabilitative services. Although, Physiotherapy has ideally qualified personnel to contribute to the attainment of the goals and objectives of the PHC policies, these services are mostly carried out by other HCP’s subdivided as clinicians (medical doctors, dentists, nurses/midwives, optometrists, pharmacists, radiographers, laboratory scientists) and clinical assistants (pharmacy technicians, radiography technicians, laboratory technicians and community health extension workers). Physiotherapy services are mostly concentrated at tertiary and secondary health care settings. AIM: To determine the awareness and explore the perceptions of clinicians and clinical assistants employed in the type 3 primary health care (PHC) settings of Rivers East Senatorial district of Rivers State, Nigeria, regarding the roles of Physiotherapy in a PHC setting.