Dr. Opeyemi Babatunde, lead investigator of the Joint Implementation Guidelines for Osteoarthritis in West Africa (JIGSAW) Africa, has cautioned against the routine use of drugs for managing osteoarthritis and joint pain. Speaking at a media briefing in Ibadan, Dr. Babatunde emphasized that while physiotherapy and pain medications may be necessary for severe joint pain, drugs alone do not offer a cure for osteoarthritis.
Highlighting the findings of the JIGSAW-Africa project, Dr. Babatunde stressed the importance of exercise, healthy living, and diet in managing osteoarthritis. She noted that self-management strategies empower individuals to live well with the condition, reducing the reliance on medication.
Dr. Oladapo Adetunji, co-investigator of JIGSAW-Africa, reiterated the project’s focus on empowering individuals with osteoarthritis to self-manage their condition. He emphasized the role of exercise, guided by professional physiotherapists, in alleviating joint pain and improving overall well-being.
As part of the project, information education and communication (IEC) tools have been developed in multiple languages, including pidgin English, to educate individuals on self-management techniques. These resources will be distributed to primary healthcare centers and community pharmacists nationwide, facilitating greater awareness and access to self-care information.
Mr. Ayoade Adetunji, a 65-year-old pensioner, emphasized the need for increased community awareness and the establishment of gymnasiums in healthcare facilities to promote exercise and self-management among individuals with osteoarthritis.
The JIGSAW-Africa project underscores the importance of holistic approaches to osteoarthritis management, prioritizing self-care strategies and exercise to improve quality of life for individuals living with the condition.