Physiotherapists in Sudan mark the day with the International Committee of the Red Cross

How we told the world: a profession in action around the globe on World PT Day

From wheelchair tryouts to public education booklets, from Nordic walking to screening for fall risk, WCPT has received reports of hundreds of activities organised by physical therapists to raise the profile of the profession on World PT Day. 

The Confederation’s World PT Day resource pages were accessed 17,000 times as the profession prepared in the run up to 8th September. Physical therapists in India, the United States, Australia, South Africa, Canada, Saudi Arabia, Germany, United Kingdom, Malaysia and Spain accessed the WCPT World PT Day toolkit most.
 
Over the 48 hours that World PT Day continued around the globe, from New Zealand to the USA, 2,435 people used the #worldptday hashtag on Twitter, making 5,583 tweets at an average of 116 tweets per hour – potentially reaching nine million people with their positive messages about the profession.
 
To mark the day, physical therapists from the Sudanese Association of Physiotherapists (SuPTA) teamed up with the International Committee of the Red Cross to organise a workshop on amputation rehabilitation and a range of activities nationally using WCPT’s World PT Day toolkit. SuPTA is working towards WCPT membership. 
 
The one-day workshop focused on pre-prosthetic physical rehabilitation for persons with lower limb amputation. Subhash Sinha, Physical Rehabilitation Project Manager at ICRC in Sudan, said the event linked together national stakeholders with physical therapists, doctors, nurses, prosthetists, orthotists, social workers and management to emphasise the importance of the interdisciplinary team approach in physical rehabilitation.
 
Alongside the ICRC physical rehabilitation team, SuPTA members also distributed food and toys to children with disabilities in Khartoum Cheshire Home and provided free physiotherapy sessions.
 
In another country where the effects of conflict on the population have been profound, members of the Afghan Association of Physical Therapy (AAPT) organised an event attended by more than 300 people including representatives from government and non-governmental organisations such as the ICRC, Handicap International and the national Physiotherapy Training Institute.
 
A message of support came from the Afghanistan President Ashraf Ghani, who said that he appreciated the hard work of AAPT physiotherapists, which had resulted in the association being admitted as a WCPT member in 2007. 
 
He said that decades of war had left many with physical disabilities and the intervention of physiotherapists in their rehabilitation was essential. He added that the government of Afghanistan was committed to developing the profession.
 
Physical therapists from the Taiwan Physical Therapy Association celebrated their first ever official national PT Day with an international symposium, also marking the association’s 40th anniversary. The event, attended by WCPT President Emma Stokes, had a special focus on the future developments in the profession and the issue of global ageing.
 
In Ireland, the Irish Society of Physiotherapy organised a “Thanks to my physio” competiton inviting service users to come forward and tell their stories of how physiotherapy has benefited them and allowed them to fulfil their goals. The society also gained gained publicity about physiotherapy in several national newspapers and radio channels.
 
Reports from events in 18 other countries can be found in the World PT Day section of this website. 

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