Physical therapists were represented in force at a World Health Organization meeting about the International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health (ICF) and other health classifications, held in Cape Town, South Africa in late October and early November.
Physical therapists from South Africa, Rwanda, Canada and Korea, along with WCPT’s professional policy consultant Catherine Sykes, attended the annual meeting of the WHO network of collaborating centres which help develop, disseminate and implement the WHO family of international classifications.
The collaborating centres work with WHO to update the family of international classifications, such as the ICF, the International Classification of Diseases and the International Classification of Health Interventions. Users and non-government organisations represented in the network such as WCPT can bring to the attention of the centres any significant problems they encounter in the use of the classifications.
Physical therapists were among those making presentations at the event. Among them was N. Jeanne Kagwiza from the Kigali Health Institute in Rwanda, who presented a poster on the functioning of people living with HIV in Rwanda. More than 500 out-patients living with HIV filled in Kinyarwanda dialect translations of an ICF questionnaire which used the WHO disability assessment schedule WHO-DAS2. The study concluded that the use of the ICF with WHO-DAS2 successfully resulted in the identification of specific impairments and functional limitations.