WCPT is highlighting the unique perspective of physical therapy in disability and non-communicable disease at the forthcoming World Health Assembly in May and meetings of international organisations associated with it.
At its meeting in March, the WCPT Executive Committee considered papers on disability and the role of physical therapy related to non-communicable diseases (NCDs), with a view to developing an action plan, which could include producing policy statements, briefing papers and congress programming.
“The aim of WCPT’s work in these areas is to highlight the perspective of physical therapy and ensure key messages are delivered at relevant international meetings/events,” says WCPT President Marilyn Moffat. “We want to convey our unique contribution: using evidence and science for the prescription of physical activity and exercise at levels of intensity which effect change for NCDs and most risk factors.”
The World Health Assembly in May includes discussion on a draft resolution on disability, endorsing the recommendations of the World Report on Disability and calling for WHO and member states to ensure equal access to health services for persons with disabilities. WCPT is intending to make a statement welcoming the resolution, and supporting the need to redress the imbalance in access to health services experienced by people with disabilities.
The statement will encourage the use of physical therapists in national disability strategies and investment in the education of health professionals, so that people with disabilities receive high quality, evidence-based services. It will emphasise the important role that physical therapists can play in collecting data on human functioning and informing policy and planning.
“Participation at the World Health Assembly, provides non-governmental organisations like WCPT with an opportunity to raise their profile and speak to issues on the agenda of particular concern to the profession,” said WCPT Secretary General Brenda Myers.
During the week of the World Health Assembly, WCPT will also be meeting with the other members of the World Health Professions Alliance (WHPA) as well as the WHO Disability and Rehabilitation Team and its other partner organisations involved in rehabilitiation services, disability and development.
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