The Effects of the COVID-19 Pandemic on Orthopedic Practice in Nigeria
Background: COVID‑19 has caused worldwide disruption in health‑care services including orthopedics as surgeries and clinics are being
scaled-down worldwide in conformity with the social‑distancing and virus containment measures being applied worldwide, including in Nigeria. Unfortunately, the care of routine diseases such as trauma, infections, and malignancies is also being negatively impacted by the slowdown in activities.
Aims: The aim of this study was to determine if the ongoing COVID‑19 pandemic had affected orthopedic practice in Nigeria, and also to see what measures were already being taken, if any, and to propose solutions.
Materials and Methods: This was a cross-sectional study conducted via an online survey among orthopedic surgeons practicing in Nigeria.
Results: One hundred and seventy‑three orthopedic surgeons practicing in Nigeria participated in this study. Majority of the participants (71.1%) practice in hospitals where there were no written guidelines on orthopedic care during a viral epidemic. Most (80.9%) did not have enough personal protective equipment (PPE) for work. Most clinic services were able to run during the outbreak (65.3%). There was a marked decrease in the volume of elective and emergency surgeries performed during the pandemic, especially in public hospitals.
Conclusion: COVID‑19 has affected orthopedic practice in Nigeria. Provision of adequate PPE, the use of telemedicine for outpatient consultations, physical distancing, and other techniques may improve care for our patients.
Keywords: COVID‑19, Nigeria, orthopedics