WCPT President Marilyn Moffat with Chitalu Chilufya, Zambia Deputy Minister of Health (right), at the opening ceremony.

Africa congress addresses the challenges of non-communicable disease

Action on non-communicable disease (NCDs) was the focus at the 10th biennial meeting and congress of WCPT’s Africa Region, hosted in May by the Zambia Society of Physiotherapy. 

In keynote speeches at the congress, WCPT President Marilyn Moffat addressed the challenges of NCDs and physiotherapy practice, Esther Munalula Nkandu from Zambia spoke on bioethics in the management of NCDs, and Aimee Stewart from the University of the Witwatersrand, South Africa looked at physical therapy research in the management of NCDs.

There were also presentations on: disability and NCDs by Joyce Mothabeng from the University of Pretoria, South Africa; cancer and physical therapy by Kennedy Lishimpi from the Cancer Diseases Hospital in Lusaka; and the public health challenges of NCDs in Zambia by George Chigali, the congress organising committee chair. There were two plenary panel discussions on NCDs.

“Scientific, social and academic interaction characterised the congress,” said Joyce Mothabeng, Africa regional representative on WCPT’s Executive Committee. “Participants were enthusiastic to ask further questions after the presentations, which indicated the quest for knowledge.”

The congress was held at the Government Complex, Lusaka, and was officially opened by Chitalu Chilufya, Zambia’s Deputy Minister of Health. During the event, a delegation from the Zambia Society of Physiotherapy, WCPT Africa member organisations and the WCPT Africa Executive visited Kenneth Kaunda, the first President of Zambia. “It was a very nice occasion and the first President shared words of wisdom and encouraged the members to work hard to move Africa forward on all fronts,” said Joyce Mothabeng. 

Social events included cocktails at the Government Complex to welcome delegates and a Zambia-style evening party complete with 21 fireworks to celebrate the 21st anniversary of WCPT’s Africa Region.

Before the congress, WCPT’s Africa Region held its General Meeting where it adopted a revised constitution – “a significant milestone” said Joyce Mothabeng.