By Seyifunmi Odunuga
The Oyo State chapter of the Nigeria Society of Physiotherapy (OYNSP) has urged the federal government of Nigeria on the need to identify and honour heroes especially in the health sector while they still live.
OYNSP gave the admonition in a statement issued on Monday and made available to newsmen in Ibadan by the special adviser to the physiotherapy society on Media and Strategic Communication, Faysol Oluwakemi.
The society, however, frowned at the attitude of the Nigerian government of not celebrating national heroes during their lifetime and thereby tasked the government with the need to recognise change makers who had played a significant role in nation-building.
The statement read that “it is so unfortunate that the government of Nigeria has failed to recognize a patriotic Nigerian who doubles as the first physiotherapist in Africa and father of physiotherapy profession in Nigeria, Pa Dr Thompson Abayomi Oshin who clocks 95 last Friday.”
“Pa Thompson Abayomi Oshin (PT, PhD) was born on Friday, 30th July 1926 at Mobalufon, Ijebu-Ode, Ogun state in his maternal grandfather’s house, and was raised in Sabongari, Kano where his parents lived then.”
The statement stressed that “Dr Oshin who speaks Yoruba, Hausa and English language fluently had his elementary education at the Holy Trinity School, Kano and migrated to Lagos in 1941 to commence his secondary school education at Lagos Baptist academy.”
“He passed the Senior Cambridge School Certificate Examination in 1946 and the University of London Matriculation Examination in 1947.”
“Despite the fact that Pa Oshin had always had a passion for caring for the sick, injured and people living with disabilities since his early days in the Boys Scout yet, his father wanted him to study law.”
As a result, he contacted a friend in England, who introduced and encouraged him to study Physiotherapy which was a burgeoning healthcare profession with a lot of prospects in Africa which later led him to study Physiotherapy at the Physiotherapy School, Peto Place, Regents Park, London.”
While eulogising the doyen of physiotherapy in Africa, OYNSP noted Dr Oshin being a selfless Nigerian began his Physiotherapy career at the University College Hospital Ibadan on 10 January 1955 as the only Chartered Nigerian Physiotherapist and later travelled to the United State as an exchange physiotherapist from 1958-1959.
“Pa. Oshin in 1963, enrolled for the 2-year Diploma in Teacher of Physiotherapy (Dip. T.P) course at King’s College Hospital, London and returned to Nigeria in 1966 at the expiration of his course.”
“He single-handedly started the first B.Sc (Physiotherapy) programme in Nigeria at the University of Ibadan in October 1966. He obtained his Bachelor of Physical Therapy degree from the University of Manitoba, Canada in 1969, his PhD from the University of Ibadan in 1982 and thereafter transferred his service to the University of Ibadan as a lecturer in 1973.”
“Dr Abayomi Oshin was appointed the first Head and Consultant Physiotherapist to the University College Hospital, following his appointment as a lecturer in the University of Ibadan.”
“Subsequently, Pa Oshin in 1959 co-founded the Nigeria Society of Physiotherapy with Oyo state as the first chapter.”
According to the special adviser to the physiotherapy society on media and strategic communication, Faysol Oluwakemi, Pa Abayomi Oshin is a hero, an icon, deserving of national honour, as he has left indelible prints not only in the Physiotherapy profession but in the fabric of the Nigerian healthcare system.