The roots of physiotherapy can be traced back to the early 20th century when physiotherapists were involved in the rehabilitation of people affected by war and illness.
Physiotherapists continue to be involved in these situations and are often called on to be part of a humanitarian response. This could include providing support to people in conflict-affected parts of the world, being part of humanitarian response to a natural disaster, or working with people affected by pandemics.
We can advocate to make sure physiotherapists have access to appropriate equipment to work safely and effectively.
Published report on "the role of physiotherapists in disaster management" (2016), which you can download as a PDF.
Many World Physiotherapy member organisations and their individual members are involved in programmes as donors or recipients of physiotherapy equipment in different countries.
We have developed an information note, with input from a range of stakeholders (including ADAPT, ICRC, WHO), to help donors and recipients find the best possible solution for the donation of physiotherapy equipment. You can download the information note as a PDF.
Humanity and Inclusion
Physiotherapy and Refugee Education Project (PREP) and Persons with experience Education Project – Interprofessional (PREP-IP)
Find out about the project here
Follow on Twitter @ePREPGlobal
Course: an online self-paced course is open for learners. Interested learners can sign up for this free course that is hosted by Western Norway University of Applied Sciences. The course is developed in collaboration with partners from Karolinska Institutet, Sweden; HAN University of Applied Sciences, The Netherlands; Trinity College Dublin, Ireland; Duke University, USA; Centre for Migrant Health, Norway and Physiopedia. Experienced physiotherapists from all over the world have contributed to the course.
Publication: McGowen E, et al (2020) Core competencies for physiotherapists working with refugees: a scoping review. Physiotherapy 108:10-21
World Health Organization
Strengthening rehabilitation in emergencies
Emergency Medical Teams initiative
CLASSIFICATION AND MINIMUM STANDARDS FOR EMERGENCY MEDICAL TEAMS
A GUIDANCE DOCUMENT FOR MEDICAL TEAMS RESPONDING TO HEALTH EMERGENCIES IN ARMED CONFLICTS AND OTHER INSECURE ENVIRONMENTS
Health and Migration Programme
Recommendations for burns care in mass casualty incidents: WHO Emergency Medical Teams Technical Working Group on Burns (WHO TWGB) 2017-2020