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Opeyemi Bakre is a physiotherapist (physical therapist) and the founder of an outpatient physical therapy outfit called Pro-Health Community Physiotherapy aka Community Physio. She has a first degree in Physiotherapy from the Obafemi Awolowo University (Great Ife!) and a Master’s degree in Community Physiotherapy from the University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg.

Opeyemi Bakre

“I love working with people of all ages, especially the elderly, to achive their therapy goals.”

— Opeyemi Bakre

Pro-Health Community Physiotherapy

Bakre founded Community Physio in 2016 in response to a need to bring change to the conventional way physical therapy was done by professionals and seen by the public in Nigeria.

Bakre found that whenever she met people and mentioned that she was a physiotherapist, she got one of three response:

They ask for a massage (the disappointment when they find out she is not a masseuse is usually difficult to miss!)

They think she only treats stroke patients, those with fractures or sports injuries.

They tell her that her profession is underappreciated in Nigeria and tell her to get out fast!

These varied responses made Bakre think about starting a movement that can help change the narrative of the physiotherapy profession.

Pro-Health Community Physiotherapy
Pro-health Community Physiotherapy
Pro-Health Community Physiotherapy

At Community Physio, Bakre and her team hope to bring physiotherapy to everyone in fun, interactive ways, without losing sight of set goals. They provide physiotherapy services and treatment for clients at their facility in Ikeja, Lagos, and in the hospitals, gyms, clients’ homes, and workplaces (ergonomics and posture). They also organise group events.

“Our unconventional way of doing things at therapy is almost new, if not entirely new in Nigeria. “

— Opeyemi Bakre

Community Physio goes beyond the traditional “lift your leg or arm”, to using functional methods and fun things during sessions. For example, when working with clients on balance and coordination, they incorporate music and sometimes dance.

Pro-health Community Physiotherapy
Pro-Health Community Physiotherapy

Community Physio also focuses on the health education/awareness part of physical well-being. Information is key and people have questions. Some of these questions are important, but to see a doctor or physiotherapist will require actual hospital registration, which most people tend to shy away from.

To this end, the physiotherapy outfit organises Monthly Focus Group Classes where they pick a topic and have a professional/expert in that topic educate and, more importantly, answer questions. The educative session is then followed by exercises designed by a physiotherapist that addresses that specific topic and finishes (of course) with small chops! For a relatively small fee, it is a win-win situation.

Pro-health Community Physiotherapy
Pro-health Community Physiotherapy

Community Physio also partners with other allied health service providers to make for an enriching experience.

They also have Group Exercise Classes for all age groups, as they serve individuals from cradle to grey crown. In addition, they have developed balance exercises that everyone can partake in, in Pidgin, Hausa, Igbo and Yoruba. These can be found on their YouTube channel.

The future

“Physiotherapy is actually very interesting, and we want everyone to know this!”

— Opeyemi Bakre

In five years, Bakre sees Community Physio as a brand name partnering with the international community to “make physiotherapy a thing”, especially in Nigeria. They hope to have different programs taught to selected individuals in various communities nationwide, where basic exercise classes can be taught weekly. This way, the people own the program and make it theirs.

Bakre also envisions Community Physio having a facility which will make provisions for art classes, reading, seniors’ get-together and much more.

Contact Community Physio

Tel.: +234 815 415 7580
Physical Address: 63, Opebi Road by Salvation Bus stop, Ikeja, Lagos
Twitter – @coMunityphysio
Instagram – @communityphysio
YouTube – CommunityPhysio NG
Facebook – Pro-Health Community Physiotherapy

Featured image source: Pro-Health Community Physiotherapy

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This article was first published on 4th April 2019


Ibiene loves poetry and good books. She is the author of a collection of poems and short stories, 'Loving Gladys' (2020).

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