Physical therapists from AIMK at Tonpki Nihidaley

Physical therapy championed at cultural festival in Ivory Coast

A WCPT provisional member organisation, Association Ivoirienne des Masseurs-Kinestherapeutes (AIMK), treated almost 150 people during a cultural festival in Ivory Coast.

Matthias Ahissan Krou, AIMK President, said: ‘The best way to promote a profession is to show the primary beneficiaries, the general public, how it could improve their health and quality of life.’

The festival, Tonpki Nihidaley, was organised by the Regional Council of Western Ivory Coast and the Republic of China and took place in December 2018. The objectives of the festival were to:

  • highlight the Ivorian cultural wealth
  • develop the Tonpki region in Ivory Coast
  • create social cohesion
  • promote health and welfare.

AIMK was represented by a team of 10 physical therapists through an initiative, Kine en Mouvement (physical therapy in movement), to provide speakers, advocacy, physical therapy services, raise awareness around stroke prevention and low back pain, and distribute information about hygiene and back health.

The AIMK stand was also visited by Amadou Gon Coulibaly, Prime Minister of Ivory Coast, Abdallah Mabri Toikeuse, Minister of Higher Education and Scientific Research, Laurent Tchagba, Minister of the hydraulic, Adama Toungara, Mediateur de la Republique  .

Representatives of AIMK took part in media interviews with national broadcaster Radiodiffusion-Télévision Ivoirienne (RTI), and regional radio station Tonpki FM.

Matthias said: ‘During two days the AIMK team saw 148 people who benefited from physical therapy services, received analgesic and anti-inflammatory medication, and were given information and advice on dealing with stroke and low back pain. Being part of the festival provided AIMK with an opportunity to raise awareness of the need for physical therapy services in the region, demonstrate to national politicians how crucial these services are in remote areas, and offer treatment to people.

‘There is no greater joy for a physiotherapist than seeing the relief on the face of a patient who believed  they might spend the rest of their life with an unbearable pain.

‘This event was a great success and AIMK plans to replicate this initiative in other parts of Ivory Coast.’

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