Daily Trust - - HEALTH -


The lung on the left is smaller than the one on the right.

Lungs are the only or­gans that can drift on wa­ter.

About one litre of air al­ways re­side in the lungs.

Unique cells in the lungs gen­er­ate mu­cus which catches dust, dirt and bac­te­ria. This is the ini­tial line of re­sis­tance agains bac­te­ria go­ing into the body through air.

The nine-year-old girl whose spine suf­fered de­for­mi­ties in the wake of child­hood tu­ber­cu­lo­sis is set for cor­rec­tive surgery as early as this month, her doc­tors have said.

Nige­ri­ans doc­tors, nurses and ther­a­pists work­ing out­side the coun­try have vol­un­teered their time and ex­per­tise for the next step of surgery.

And Nige­rian-Turk­ish Niza­miye Hospi­tal vol­un­teered its fa­cil­i­ties for surgery, nurs­ing care and ac­com­mo­da­tion that Ummi Salma will re­quire for seven days, ac­cord­ing to a doc­u­ment seen by Daily Trust.

The surgery comes as UATH it­self starts in­ter­nal clamp down on spine surg­eries in its the­atres.

The surgery is only one step of a se­ries of pro­ce­dures to treat Ummi Salma Ab­dul­lahi, still hos­pi­talised at Univer­sity of Abuja Teach­ing Hospi­tal, Gwag­wal­ada, where she’s al­ready been fit­ted with a halo-trac­tion de­vice.

In the first pho­tos since her treat­ment started at UATH, Ummi Salma is seen smil­ing with her par­ents and shak­ing hands with her doc­tors.

The halo-trac­tion de­vice comes with pins to her skull and will be piled with weights grad­u­ally reach­ing 10 to 30% of her body weight.

The weights will be piled at the foot of her hospi­tal bed and con­nected to her via a pul­ley over her bed.

It will serve to help straighten her spine, in which six discs were com­pressed around her spinal cord in the wake of TB she suf­fered as a child.

The crushed bones will be re­moved and re­placed with new tis­sue and held in place us­ing pedi­cle screws, ac­cord­ing to Dr Taiwo Malomo, one of Ummi Salma’s physi­cians.

The dam­age re­sulted in “com­plex de­for­mity of the spine, paral­y­sis of her leg, fail­ure of her lungs to ex­pand, and in­abil­ity to con­trol her urine and fae­ces,” said her physi­cian, Dr Kawu Ahidjo, con­sul­tant spine sur­geon at UATH.

Her doc­tors be­lieve once the de­for­mity is re­paired to free her spinal cord from fur­ther dam­age, func­tions could grad­u­ally re­turn to her limbs, along with abil­ity to pass urine and fae­ces.

The de­for­mity has left Ummi Salma with the face of a nine-yearold and the body of a one-year-old.

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