Improving the quality of life for people diagnosed with OI

The first oi surgery done in Lagos, Nigeria. October 2023

The Oi corrective surgery took place at Primrose Specialist Hospital Gbagada, Lagos, Nigeria which was carried out by two OI specialists Dr Adolfredo Santana (Lead surgeon) from Venezuela and Dr Carlos Pragas from the USA and a Mental Health Practitioner by name Louise Adeleke in the UK on the 9th to the 12th of October. We originally listed five oi patients for the surgery but only two of them qualified to have the surgery after being assessed by the experts due to different factors and reasons, e.g few of them were not already on bisphosphates meds and the quality of their bone was not good enough to hold rods therefore, the surgery will not be of benefit to them at the time and were advised to start medication, and one of the patients withdraw due to educational reasons. During the scheduled dates, ten Oi patients were assessed, and a proper diagnosis was made confirming they have Oi and were advised to start bisphosphonate medication and those that were already on it to continue with the medication, stressing the importance of the bisphosphonate medication to their condition. We are grateful to the fact that this was made possible by the donation of the rodding equipment made by Pega Medicals in Canada and the travel donation made by the OIFE and NOIS Oi Foundation here in Europe. We also had training sessions during the surgery where eight different medical professionals had the opportunity to be trained which was a great success and we have had great feedback and inquiry to subsequent training in the future. On the 13th of October 2023, we had the international Oi conference held at the J. F Adejiyi Auditorium Hall in Unilag, Lagos. The conference was themed “Living with brittle bone (OI)”. The conference was targeted at University medical students including medical professors, other practicing medical practitioners, and the public to raise awareness on the rare condition of Oi. We had different segments of the program. We aimed at using the opportunity to connect with doctors running private clinics to open oi clinics in their practices so that Oi across the state can connect to have the bone juice closer to them instead of traveling far to St Charles Hospital at Surulere for safety and cost reasons which we achieved as we had a few private clinics now connected to OIFN. The capacity of the hall was 2000 and we had a good representation of different targeted audiences. The medical student were having their main exams at the time and were limited in numbers at the conference; however, videos and materials of the conference were sent to those interested but absent due to exam factors which was beyond their control. The aim was to help build up interest for future conferences and training opportunities to which we have had positive feedback for future collaboration and attendance. Which in my opinion is breakthrough/feedback considering the Nigerian factors.