Haiti - The physiotherapist with Marie Lucia, who suffered a stroke. The physiotherapist has just given Marie Lucia material to continue her rehabilitation exercises at home. | © C. Alzamora / HI
The new World Health Organisation’s Bulletin, published on November 2nd, is on the theme of “Advancing rehabilitation through health policy and system research”.
The WHO Bulletin is one of the world's leading public health journals, with a special focus on low and middle-income countries. Humanity & Inclusion, with its extensive experience in the rehabilitation sector, was a contributor and is featured in the Bulletin.
Today, an estimated 2.4 billion people live with conditions that could benefit from rehabilitation. This number has increased by about two thirds during the past three decades and reflects the enormous and growing need for rehabilitation. However, many people do not receive the rehabilitation they require, especially in low- and middle-income countries.
Through research articles, news and editorials, this issue of the WHO Bulletin sheds light on the importance of rehabilitation in health systems.
Didier Demey, Humanity & Inclusion’s rehabilitation manager, co-authored the article “International collaboration to improve physiotherapists’ training, Viet Nam”, based on the operational experience of rehabilitation professional organisations. Shortages of rehabilitation professionals, a relatively low level of skills and knowledge, and the inequitable distribution of these workers need to be addressed in order to improve access to rehabilitation services.
Humanity & Inclusion’s work is also featured in the article “Rehabilitation in a war zone”, which illustrates how international partners are boosting the rehabilitation capacity of the Ukrainian health system to meet the need of the people injured by the conflict.
“What we see most commonly are extensive burns and complex fractures caused by explosive ordnances,” says Pauline Falipou, an emergency rehabilitation specialist with Humanity & Inclusion. “The injuries sustained generally require immediate surgical intervention followed by intensive rehabilitation that has to start as soon as possible and should be followed for months if not years,” she explains.
Since March 2022, Humanity & Inclusion has been supporting the rehabilitation and assistive technology needs of injured people in Ukraine’s frontline hospitals, but has also worked to address the needs of people living with disabilities in the many communities affected by war, including those living in homes for the elderly and children.
This issue of the WHO Bulletin provides evidence and arguments to invest in rehabilitation as an essential component of health. “My hope is that all those involved in public health will recognize rehabilitation as part of their core business” wrote the Director General of WHO in his editorial.