Almost 100 physiotherapists from 20 member organisations in low or lower-middle income countries/territories will be able to take part in World Physiotherapy Congress 2023 in Dubai, 2-4 June, or online, 23-25 June, thanks to funding agreed by the World Physiotherapy board and the generosity of congress registrants.
Ebenezer Addo is a supervisor at the outpatient physiotherapy unit in the Korle Bu Teaching Hospital in Accra, Ghana, and the Ghana Physiotherapy Association vice president. Ebenezer was awarded a bursary to attend the event in Dubai. He said: “Attending congress will help expand my knowledge and evidence based practice skills, as well as being able to share knowledge with colleagues in the global physiotherapy community. I hope to gain knowledge in carrying out research in various fields of expertise as it will help me carry on with my academic work and also teach my students.
“After the congress, I will be able to share the knowledge I acquire with my assistants and the students I supervise to improve the quality of care, especially in musculoskeletal and neurological physiotherapy. As a clinical supervisor, I will teach my students new knowledge base and ideas since they are the future of the profession. The non-clinical staff in my department will benefit because I will create flyers, posters, and educational leaflets to help educate the wider public in Ghana.”
Cathy Pius will also be in Dubai. Cathy studied for a master’s at Curtin University in Perth, Australia, before returning home to Papua New Guinea, and said: “One of my concerns going back home after studying in Australia was professional development. In Papua New Guinea, we have very little professional development opportunities because of lack of resources. Attending such a prestigious congress will be an opportunity to gain knowledge and practice, and an opportunity to form networks with physiotherapists from other countries and share experiences. I hope to gain insights into what is being researched and practised in physiotherapy in other parts of the world.
“At the hospital where I work, I will be the only one with a master’s degree in musculoskeletal physiotherapy. There will be no one to mentor me. The challenge is on me, to better myself by practising and updating myself with new knowledge so that I can transfer this to my colleagues and students.”
Ibrahim Bukenya is a rehabilitation manager at a stroke rehabilitation centre in Uganda. Ibrahim was awarded a bursary to take part in the online event, 23-25 June. Ibrahim said: “The event will bring the global physiotherapy profession together to share ideas, research, practice, education, policy, and service innovation. This relates to my profession and expertise, and the work I do at the stroke rehabilitation centre. Collaborating with other esteemed professionals would contribute to my knowledge and increase my network in my field.
“I hope to acquire more skills and improve my presentation skills, how to integrate evidence-based practice, and get more exposure to other affordable rehabilitation modalities that can be offered to local communities.
Shima'a Fouad Ahmed Al-Sulmi was also awarded a bursary for the online event. Shima said: “I will use the opportunity to exchange experiences and transfer them to colleagues, help develop the field of physiotherapy in Yemen, and help people with special needs in ways we have not used before.
“This will change the method of physiotherapy in Yemen and keep pace with the modern era to improve patients’ health and outcomes, particularly for people affected by war.”
Tracy Bury, World Physiotherapy deputy chief executive, said: “We had more demand for bursaries than ever before with more than 220 applications and we’re delighted to support over 90 physiotherapists from 20 member organisations. For some of the bursary recipients, this will be the first time they are able to take part in congress so it’s important we do everything we can to make them feel welcome and able to participate fully. We will have 31 recipients in Dubai and the rest will join the online event.
“Physiotherapists in many low and lower middle-income countries/territories have very limited access to high quality continuing professional development, research, or global networking opportunities. The bursary programme can help address this and help a physiotherapist make a lasting impact back home.
Bursary recipients come from the following countries/territories:
Bangladesh, Benin, Ethiopia, Ghana, India, Indonesia, Ivory Coast, Kenya, Lebanon, Malawi, Nepal, Nigeria, Palestine, Papua New Guinea, Philippines, Rwanda, Uganda, Ukraine, Vietnam, Yemen.
The bursary programme for World Physiotherapy Congress 2025 in Tokyo, Japan, will be launched in 2024.