WCPT’s European Region has welcomed the World Health Organization’s European strategy on child and adolescent health, and pointed out physical therapy’s key role. In a statement made at the WHO’s Europe regional committee meeting in Copenhagen, Denmark in September, the region pointed out that diet rather than physical activity tends to dominate discussion on child health.
“Physical therapists can encourage greater physical activity and empower people to exercise within any limitation they may have in order to improve health and fitness and minimise later complications,” said the Chair of the WCPT European Region, Sarah Bazin, in the statement.
She said the region urged national policy makers to ensure that physical therapists are involved in priority interventions and the promotion of physical activity where there is evidence of clinical and cost effectivess.
“The WCPT European Region encourages health and education employers to engage physiotherapists as key providers particularly in the promotion of physical activity in children and young people, and encourages relevant national agencies to reflect on whether the employment and professional contribution of physiotherapists is being optimised.”
In an accompanying statement, the region also welcomed progress in implementing the WHO’s health policy framework, Health 2020, in Europe. A WHO report launched at the meeting indicated that national policies are now placing greater emphasis on reducing health inequalities and increasing social cohesion and inclusion, so that all people have a fair chance for health.
“The WCPT European Region welcomes the opportunity of being an engaged and active partner in the implementation of this strategy over the coming years,” said Sarah Bazin.
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