The SUDA project

We are building the role and profile of physiotherapists globally

Discover how our projects support this goal

As a global organisation, World Physiotherapy is committed to helping people all around the world access appropriate physiotherapy services. This is in line with the World Health Organization’s global health priorities, which include securing equitable and affordable health care for all.

Our vision includes developing and enhancing the entry-level training programme of physiotherapy staff and raising the profession’s profile, particularly in countries where the profession is still in its infancy. Our approach reflects the organisation’s long history of working globally but also acknowledges that our approach needs to be adapted to the local context.

Since 2016 we have been working with a number of international non-governmental organisations and agencies, including Humanity & Inclusion (HI), UCP Wheels for Humanity, WHO, USAID and our member organisations. Our aim is to develop physiotherapy services worldwide and encourage a shared understanding of what modern physiotherapy can – and should – look like.

Sidy Dieye, World Physiotherapy head of programmes and development, has extensive experience in post-conflict resolution in Africa. He brings his project management skills and expertise to support our project and development work across a number of countries and continents.

We want to move World Physiotherapy towards being a more inclusive organisation, one which is not just about physiotherapy in the developed world, but which embraces the global profession.
Sidy Dieye, World Physiotherapy head of programmes and developmentTweet this

Our work includes: 

  • reviewing the existing physiotherapy practice within a country 
  • looking at how we can help build an educational approach that is appropriate for that country
  • starting to develop a continuum of ongoing educational opportunities, which may include improving the entry level programme, and providing continuing professional development.

Alongside that, World Physiotherapy works with each country’s professional association to help raise awareness of what contemporary physiotherapy looks like and to encourage them to consider ways of moving towards international standards.

Long-term effectiveness

Key to the long-term effectiveness of our work is giving physiotherapists in each country the skills to continue to develop the work once the project ends.

Not only do the projects help develop professional physiotherapy skills, they also develop leadership, advocacy, and management skills. These in turn can be used to influence within the health care sector and at government level.

“We want to make sure that what we do is successful, so others will see the benefit and want to be involved,” says Sidy.

The projects are primarily funded by aid agencies and external funding grants, while we also draw on members of World Physiotherapy to provide short-term support to individual projects.

As each country begins to develop appropriate training and standards, their professional body may then become eligible for membership of World Physiotherapy, further strengthening the global reach of the profession and acting as a beacon for other associations to follow.

Ultimately it will ensure, globally, that people have access to appropriate physiotherapy services.

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