IASP Grant Improves Training in Neuropathic Pain Management in Nigeria

Dec 14, 2016

A project in Nigeria aimed at improving the knowledge and practice of neuropathic pain management among health-care providers and their patients held three workshops in 2015 and 2016 for more than 300 doctors, nurses, medical students, and other health-care workers and policymakers. Directed by Dr. Elizabeth Ogboli-Nwasor, the “Improving Knowledge and Practice of Health-Care Providers and Patients about Neuropathic Pain Management in Diabetes and HIV/AIDS,” effort was awarded a grant under the 2015 IASP Developing Countries Project: Initiative for Improving Pain Education.

The year-long program, which ended this past July, had four primary aims:

  • teach health-care providers about neuropathic pain management in diabetes and HIV/AIDS
  • create awareness among patients suffering from diabetes or HIV/AIDS about the options of pain management
  • improve the actual practice of neuropathic pain management in diabetes and HIV/AIDS
  • reduce the “treatment gap” between what could be done to relieve neuropathic pain and what is actually being achieved in managing pain in such patients

Among various educational initiatives, reports Dr. Ogboli-Nwasor, the program incorporated a lecture on how to set up multidisciplinary pain clinics in different geopolitical zones in Nigeria. This initiative is now considered as a proposal to be passed to the Nigerian National Assembly through the Ministry of Health.

In the coming months, she notes, the program will expand to hospitals unable to attend the original workshops due to distance, and the curriculum will be updated. Her goal is to create awareness about neuropathic pain management in diabetes and HIV/AIDS in all of the hospitals across Nigeria’s various regions.

In addition to the in-person training programs at the various hospitals, Dr. Ogboli-Nwasor estimates the program reached more than 10 million people through interviews on the radio and in print.

Dr. Ogboli-Nwasor chairs a pain management committee at her hospital, Ahmadu Bello University Teaching Hospital, which also has started a pain clinic. She hopes to hold refresher courses for trainees and others who are already working in or have an interest in pain management.


Dr. Elizabeth Ogboli-Nwasor (fourth from left), was awarded a grant as part of the IASP Developing Countries Project: Initiative for Improving Pain Education. She is joined here by facilitators who conducted workshops aimed at training health-care workers in pain management of diabetes and HIV/AIDS patients.