Kanchan Sangroula (left) pictured with a colleague while taking to the streets of Katmandu to raise awareness of the role of physical therapists.
Kanchan Sangroula (left) pictured with a colleague while taking to the streets of Katmandu to raise awareness of the role of physical therapists.

How a WCPT Congress changed the profession in one country

One of the first people to register for this year’s WCPT Congress in Amsterdam has been Kanchan Sangroula of the Nepal Physiotherapy Association. Why? Because attending the 2007 Congress in Vancouver significantly changed things for the profession in her country.

“It was a completely new experience for me,” says Kanchan, who also attended the WCPT General Meeting in Vancouver as President and official delegate of the Nepal Physiotherapy Association. “I found out about what actions other organisations were taking to develop the profession in their countries – countries like Bhutan and Pakistan. And that set us on the course of promoting the profession much better in Nepal. Before that, we didn’t have much idea how to raise our profile.”

“Throughout the Congress, I got the opportunity to network with so many people – to such an extent that when we arranged our first national conference afterwards, we got a lot of visitors from other countries.”

Each year since the General Meeting and Congress in Vancouver, the Nepalese association has organised World Physical Therapy Day activities, using the tools and resources provided by WCPT, to gain profile and put pressure on the government to create more physiotherapy posts.

“It’s really helped us. We’ve raised awareness among the general public about the benefits of physiotherapy, and how it can help reduce the impact of lifestyle-related disease. So I’ve been really encouraged to attend the congress again this year.”

Kanchan Sangroula says that at the Vancouver Congress she also learned how Nepali physiotherapists could get more involved in community based rehabilitation.  “This year, I want to go to more sessions relevant to CBR. I’ll also be attending the Summit on Global Health, where I’ll be contributing as a consultant.”

“It will also just be a good opportunity to catch up with the friends from Finland and other parts of Europe I made at the last Congress!”