The just concluded WCPT Congress 2019 in Palexpo Geneva, Switzerland was a huge success and an attestation that we belong to a large community of sound professional colleagues worldwide who can make things happen internationally and nationally in their various countries. The sessions were so organized and smoothly run by physiotherapists from all walks of life, races and culture which is a message to us in Nigeria that there is nothing we cannot achieve if we can drop our personal interests to work for one another and the common good of the profession.
The General Meeting started ahead of other activities of the Congress. An orientation programme for the voting delegates for member professional associations from all over the world held on the 7th of May, 2019 and Nigeria Society of Physiotherapy (NSP) and her 2 delegates, Drs Nenna Chigbo and Oluyinka Afolabi were duly recognized at the highly informative event. The General Meeting proper held between 8th and 9th May, 2019 at Starling Hotel, Palexpo, Geneva. The delegates arrived early before 9a.m under a chilly cold and windy wet weather of about 6°C and accreditation done while sitting per member nations and national professional associations were pre-arranged/ tagged. Worthy of mention is WCPT recognition of only NSP as the association from Nigeria and her delegates Dr Nnenna Chigbo (voting delegate) and Oluyinka Afolabi (alternative voting delegate) also accorded the rights and privileges. Other groups seeking recognition from some of the nations were alotted back seats with OBSERVERS status only and given no role throughout the 2-day event. The General Meeting witnessed a number of motions moved by the board of WCPT to strengthen her international operations and the practice of physiotherapy and NSP voting delegate and alternative voting delegate were fully on ground to make Nigeria's voices heard at the highest decision making body of our profession at the global stage. Worthy of mention is the board executive motion, clause 7.2, seeking to amend her constitution to allow multiple associations per country. The Danish Physiotherapy Association shouldered the responsibility of the majority associations by moving a motion for consent of the existing physiotherapy association to first be sought before any process of recognition by WCPT. Virtually all voting delegates who spoke in numbers were not in support of multiple associations per country. They queried the board's rationale for the motion and advised it to unify factions under one association per country and end divisions which are not be in the best interest of the profession in the countries. Nigeria's voting delegate, Dr Nenna Nina Chigbo did not waste time to project the view of NSP against multiple associations in a country and she advised WCPT to strengthen conflict resolution to unify physiotherapists any place there are divisions. The debate against multiple associations was extensive and the message was clear that it cannot be in the best interest of physiotherapists nationally and a potential for associations to start a new international body in the future if allowed. The board was now left with no choice than to step down the motion on multiple associations per country and thereafter moved in its place for a single association per country which was supported by the majority and no objection on it for WCPT Constitution. "7.2 Membership of WCPT is limited to one national professional membership organization for physical therapists per country"
ELECTION OF WCPT EXECUTIVE BOARD The manifesto was done in the afternoon of 8th of May, 2019 while the election proper held the following day, 9th May. Before the election, physical therapists sitting as observers were asked exit the hall while only the voting delegates from countries of member associations were accorded the privilege to participate and had the right to vote and be voted for. At the end, Emma K. Stokes of Irish Society of Chartered Physiotherapists was re-elected as president of WCPT Executive Board and Melissa Locke of Australian Physiotherapy Association got newly elected as vice president. The following are the new WCPT board members from different regions:
1. Yasuchima Uchlima - Asia Vietnam Pacific
2. Jean Damascene Gasherebuka- Africa 3. John Xerri de Caro - Europe
4. Stacy de Gale -North America Caribbean 5. Daniel Wappenote - South America
SCIENTIFIC PAPER PRESENTATIONS
Our members both in Nigeria and in the diaspora were in the forefront firing from all cylinders on scientific research scenes at the world stage. Worthy of mention out of the lots are:
• Dr Nnena Chigbo - Quality presentation on "Access to Physiotherapy in Haemophilia care"
• Dr Comfort Adeosun - 5- star presentation on "Facilitators and Barriers to Rehabilitation Care Coordination: A qualitative Study of Providers' Perspectives"
• Dr Chinenye Pepetual Obi - Best poster presentation from Africa Region on "Knowledge About Risk factors and Practice of Fall Prevention among Physiotherapists in Nigeria: A Multi-Methods Approach"
• Dr Anekwu Emelie Moris - Classy presentation on "Responses of Urea, Creatinine and Uric Acid to Soft Tissues and Passive Mobilisation in Patients with Renal Disease Undergoing Heamodialysis"
• Dr Olaleye - Classic platform presentation titled 'Effects of Aerobic Exercise on Post-stroke Cognitive Function: A Systematic Review
• Dr Felix Odusanya - Highly informative Poster presentation on 'Health Locus of Control in Patients with Non-specific Chronic Low Back Pain: An Outcome of a 12 -week Clinical Study'
• Dr Foluke Asoluka - Great Indaba session on "Global Challenges in Older People with Physical Activity Challenges"
• Dr Oluwatoyin Adenike Adeniji - A beautiful presentation on "Adherence, Functional Recovery and Quality of Life in Stroke Patients"
• Professor Fatoye - Two masterpiece presentations that attracted overflow attendance : i. Real World Effectiveness of Community Pain Management on Patient Reported Outcomes for People with Chronic Musculoskeletal Pain: Preliminary Findings ii. Cost Effectiveness Analysis of Telerehabilitation for People with Non Specific Chronic Low Back Pain in Nigeria
• Dr E.B John - chaired and judged presentations at WCPT Congress 2019
AWARDS AND APPOINTMENTS
The World Confederation of Physical therapy (WCPT), through her special interest groups, gave NSP vice president, Dr Nnenna Nina Chigbo an inaugural award titled" Nnenna Chigbo Educational Leadership Award" and institutionalised it in perpetuity in recognition of her excellent hard work in the area of HIV/AIDS, Hospice, Oncology and Palliative Care Rehabilitation on the international scene. Also, Financial Secretary NSP Anekwu Emelie Moris was confirmed the Liaison Officer Representing Nigeria in the WCPT-IPTHOPE Congratulations to these Nigerian worthy ambassadors.
WCPT FACILITATED MEETING TO UNITE NIGERIAN PHYSIOTHERAPISTS UNDER NSP
The WCPT CEO Jonathan Kruger (J.K) chaired the meeting and assisted by Sidy Dieye, Jonathan Quartey (J.Q). Representing NSP were Dr Nnenna Chigbo and Oluyinka Afolabi while Dr Odole and Gbiri represented ACAPN. J.K blocked every attempts to argue back and forth and demanded solutions only. At the end, it was resolved that a 7-man committee to be chaired by J.Q to mediate and work out coming together as one.
The evenings were full of many social activities designed for friendship and networking. Dinnners hosted, dances and musics filled the air at designated venues and locations. A number of members made themselves available and were not left out of the Congress happy moments and fun at social circuses.
The ceremony was with flare, pump and pageantry as physiotherapists from all over world present witnessed the grandeur ocassion. The programme was eventually declared closed by WCPT president, Emma Stokes. Eminent Nigerian physiotherapists led by Dr Umo Udom who had been coordinating the affairs and activities of NSP and Nigerian physiotherapists on many fronts from the beginning of the Congress unified all present and we all had causes to smile, threw banter, took pictures together after a highly successful representation for Nigeria internationally.
Dr Oluyinka Afolabi
NSP Assistant General Secretary ,Alternative Voting Delegate WCPT Congress 2019 General Meeting