In­side Kaduna’s ‘ orthopaedic’ clinic

In a part of Kaduna State there is a flour­ish­ing tra­di­tional clinic, where all forms of bone frac­tures and dis­lo­ca­tions are healed. The clinic even re­ceives re­fer­rals from mod­ern hos­pi­tals.

Daily Trust - - STAR FEATURE - From Sun­day Isuwa, Kaduna

Musa Ti­mothy Yakubu, 24, woke-up early one morn­ing trekking joy­fully to GSS Kur­dan in Zan­gon Kataf LGA of Kaduna State, where he runs a vol­un­tary teach­ing pro­gramme. Sud­denly, he found him­self with a bro­ken leg half way to the school premises.

His joy of be­ing in the midst of sec­ondary school stu­dents, who ap­par­ently spend pe­ri­ods with­out a class teacher, turned into tragedy when he was hit by a mo­tor­cy­clist pop­u­larly called “Okada.”

He was taken to Kafan­chan Gen­eral Hospi­tal for treat­ment. “I did not know what hap­pened, but sud­denly, my leg started to re­lease an odour. I was ad­vised by the nurses to be taken here for treat­ment, but for the past three months, my leg has slowly be­come nor­mal,” Yakubu said.

“The ac­ci­dent hap­pened in Novem­ber last year while on my way to GSS Kur­dan, Zan­gon Kataf LGA for a vol­un­tary teach­ing, but I ended up in this vil­lage where many have also been troop­ing,” Yakubu said.

His tale pic­tured the agony of hun­dreds of people troop­ing to Twan, a vil­lage in Madakiya District in Zango Kataf LGA where a tra­di­tional orthopaedic clinic is thriv­ing.

Lo­cated in an iso­lated vil­lage of about 30 houses, pa­tients of the clinic are ad­mit­ted in any of these houses for a long pe­riod, depend­ing on when the dis­lo­ca­tion or the bro­ken part of the body is healed.

The long stay of pa­tients in the mud houses used as wards, is mak­ing Twan a fast grow­ing com­mu­nity in Kaduna, since the fam­ily of vic­tims al­ways re­lo­cate to the com­mu­nity for the pe­riod of the treat­ment.

The op­er­a­tor of the tra­di­tional orthopaedic clinic, Mr. Peter Za­mani, it was ob­served, has to move round the wards in the scat­tered houses that host his pa­tients ev­ery morn­ing, af­ter­noon and evening to do a sort of ward round. Some youth who get healed from sim­i­lar prob­lems are now work­ing with him in the vil­lage.

“In my three to four months stay here, I’ve seen hun­dreds of people whose legs were bro­ken for the sec­ond time and re­joined, be­cause the first per­son they vis­ited did not do the right thing. People that are lucky don’t stay up to a month but get healed. I have not seen any­one who re­turned to this vil­lage be­cause of er­ror. In my own case, I thank the Almighty be­cause by leg is now re­ceiv­ing heal­ing and is no longer smelling,” the vol­un­teer teacher, Yakubu said.

Yakubu’s case is not dif­fer­ent from that of Sergeant Is­ti­fanus Ya­haya, who broke his leg while on his way to duty at the Godogodo Po­lice out­post. The ac­ci­dent dam­aged the left side of the leg when he col­lided with a trailer that blocked the high­way at night.

“The owner of the car took me to the hospi­tal for treat­ment and later on, I was brought here. I said no they should take me to an­other place which I am aware of, but he in­sisted that the place he was tak­ing me is bet­ter, and I

“ When he started, he was not only do­ing it here. Some­times they call him from Kaduna town, Kagoro, Nasarawa, Jos, Keffi, Ung­war Rimi, Kachia and so many dis­tant places.

can con­firm that,” Is­ti­fanus said.

Is­ti­fanus said the rea­son he was still at the vil­lage was as a re­sult of a mis­take he made. “The mat­tress I bought was big­ger and high in such a way that I was plac­ing the leg down on the ground which af­fected the work. The place that broke could not ac­cu­rately join, in­stead. They had to break it again and re­joined it af­ter 45 days. That is why I am still here. Many have gone back to their houses,” he said.

But Sambo Joseph Yayok of Tum, in Kaura LGA was quite un­lucky. Un­like oth­ers, he had an ac­ci­dent on 24 Oc­to­ber, 2012 and four dif­fer­ent places. He was ear­lier taken to St. Louis Hospi­tal, Zonkwa, but was later re­ferred to Jos Univer­sity Teach­ing Hospi­tal (JUTH) where an x-ray was car­ried out. His fam­ily took him to Twan in Madakiya, where the tra­di­tional orthopaedic staff at­tended to him and the four places were healed.

“I threw away the crutches. This year, again I fell to the ground while walk­ing and broke one of the legs. He worked on it again, and I am now do­ing some ex­er­cises with the crutches. We are just pray­ing that God should give Peter long life so that he will con­tinue to help people,” Yayok said.

The en­counter with the pa­tients in Twan, pre­sents a gloomy pic­ture of health in­fra­struc­ture deficit in Nigeria vil­lages. Our re­porter en­coun­tered Mrs. Talatu D. Bako, 43, a res­i­dent of Madauchi who had to re­lo­cate with her fam­ily to Twan for treat­ment of her leg, af­ter she was hit by a car in Zonkwa.

Talatu, who now uses crutches to move around the com­mu­nity, hav­ing been taken there since Oc­to­ber last year, said: “My leg was badly dam­aged and I spent some weeks at the gen­eral hospi­tal, be­fore I was trans­ferred to this place, and I’ve been told that am go­ing back home this month.”

One of the youths who now works with Peter Za­mani, Darlington Bako said his leg was to be am­pu­tated, but some­one in Kaduna me­trop­o­lis took him to Twan for treat­ment.

“Look at me now; I am now walk­ing hav­ing made sev­eral ef­forts, with­out re­sults. In fact when we went to Ka­juru, my leg tended to smell be­fore I was brought here. I am now help­ing him to at­tend to some pa­tients,” Darlington said.

The vil­lage head of the area, Alexan­der P. Bako said his younger brother; Peter Za­mani in­her­ited the talent to be­come a tra­di­tional orthopaedic ex­pert.

“When he started, many people were ask­ing can he do it. But from the myr­iad of people he has helped who are now mov­ing around as nor­mal hu­man be­ings, one will urge the govern­ment to sup­port him,” Bako said.

“ There was a pas­tor who said that ten dif­fer­ent people have worked on his hand,and when he came here, he only

spent one month and left.

Bako re­called that he ad­vised Peter Za­mani to erect some struc­tures in his house so as to ac­com­mo­date pa­tients, be­cause fre­quent trav­el­ling posed ahuge haz­ard.

“When he started, he was not only do­ing it here. Some­times they call him from Kaduna town, Kagoro, Nasarawa, Jos, Keffi, Ung­war Rimi, Kachia and so many dis­tant places. I ad­vised him that trav­el­ling to these vil­lages and com­mu­ni­ties posed a very big risk. I said he should build some rooms so that in­stead of him trav­el­ling here and there, the pa­tients will come,” he said.

“When he built some rooms, many people were com­ing, but his house could not ac­com­mo­date them and the en­tire com­mu­nity re­solved to house all his pa­tients, and we are liv­ing peace­fully,” the vil­lage head added.

The tra­di­tional ruler said hos­pi­tals now re­ferred vic­tims to the vil­lage when­ever they go for a scan or X-ray.

Peter Za­mani, the op­er­a­tor of the tra­di­tional or­tho­pe­dic clinic was not op­por­tune to ac­quire western ed­u­ca­tion. He left the pri­mary school at class three to take care of his fa­ther who was ill at a point.

As a re­sult of the love his fa­ther had for him, he re­vealed some tra­di­tional medicine that will help him in life, in­clud­ing those he (the fa­ther) could not make use of.

In April 1997, Peter was in his farm when his aged mother vis­ited with a bad news that his first daugh­ter fell from a mango tree and broke her hand, with the bone ex­posed.

“I was con­fused but later sum­moned courage to meet my fa­ther who had shown me some trees for cur­ing such prob­lems. I’ve for­got­ten the name of the tree, I told my dad but he replied, ‘what if I’d died? Are you not tak­ing my grand­daugh­ter to orthopaedic ex­perts?’ I said, No dad, since you’ve shown me the medicine, the tree might help us in our house. My fa­ther, as sick and old as he then was, took me to the bush and showed me the tree again. I dug the root of the tree and di­luted it with the cow oil as he com­manded, and worked on my daugh­ter’s hand. While I was do­ing it, all the women in our com­mu­nity came. They were cry­ing that I want to de­stroy the fu­ture of a beau­ti­ful girl. But I told them they should not worry, the daugh­ter is mine and I will al­ways wish her good. Af­ter three weeks, I freed the rope, and the sticks I used in ty­ing her hand. To­day, the lady now lives in Minna, Niger State, and no one can say with his two eyes that she once had a bro­ken hand,” Peter said.

He said the sec­ond in­ci­dent was that of his younger brother’s son who broke one of his bones. “I worked on it and to­day, if he is run­ning in a foot­ball pitch, you won’t know he has had an is­sue with his leg.

“An­other child in our com­mu­nity went to school, and broke his two hands when he fell from the guava tree. He was taken to Mat­sirga and they worked on the two hands. As the hands were heal­ing, they sud­denly turned in the re­verse di­rec­tion, and the boy was brought here. I broke the two hands and re­joined them again. To­day, the boy is a car­pen­ter and he has put roofs on many houses in our com­mu­nity. If you see the boy, you won’t know that he has had a prob­lem with his hands be­fore. From there many started com­ing and there is no house in our com­mu­nity that I did not keep up to three or five pa­tients, be­cause the rooms I built in my house are still not enough to ac­com­mo­date the pa­tients. People are com­ing here be­cause the Almighty is help­ing us to save lives,” Peter added.

“He has blessed me in such a way that any bro­ken part of the body I set my eye on, I will know how to go about it. I can­not re­mem­ber the num­ber of people that have been healed here be­cause ev­ery day, we are dis­charg­ing people while oth­ers keep com­ing. If I wake up ev­ery morn­ing, I will be at­tend­ing to pa­tients, and I can’t just tell you the num­ber of people I dis­charge monthly, but they should be more than two hun­dred.

“We don’t have as many people now be­cause we dis­charge many at the weekend and you have seen yourself, we have over 100 people still with us in the com­mu­nity and as you can see, this place is just like a mar­ket. If I had known you people are com­ing here, I would have sat down and done some cal­cu­la­tions,” Peter said.

“People come from far dis­tances with scanned pic­tures and X-rays of their body parts and when I asked them, some will say they have been di­rected from Hos­pi­tals. There was a pas­tor who said that ten dif­fer­ent people have worked on his hand,and when he came here, he only spent one month and left. He called me re­cently to thank me for heal­ing his hand. If some­one goes for scan­ning in the gen­eral hospi­tal, some nurses al­ways ad­vise them to come here. If they come newly, we don’t al­low them to min­gle with oth­ers un­til they are bet­ter. There are some people who come here when we stop them from eat­ing some kind of food, they defy our or­der. People that stay with us here don’t have prob­lem, but the ones that stay in their houses, some of them don’t obey and it took them time be­fore they get healed.”

On why the people of his com­mu­nity al­ways ac­cept his pa­tients into their houses with­out prob­lems, Peter said: “I was born here and people re­spect me be­cause I’ve not had un­re­solved is­sues with any­body. Since 1991, they wanted me to be a tra­di­tional ruler. In 2003 when I ac­cepted, they made me the Mai-Ungwa. Some of the vil­lagers al­ways leave their houses for my pa­tients to stay and in this com­mu­nity, we are one.

The sergeant in one of the wards.

Mr Peter Za­mani at­tends to an­other pa­tient.

Both the young and old visit the clinic.


An­other pa­tient re­ceives treat­ment.

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