Report: Disaster management
World Physiotherapy (WP) encourages its member organisations to facilitate the contribution of physical therapists to national and local disaster preparedness and management strategies and provides a range of resources on its website, including a policy statement and information to support physical therapists specialising in humanitarian responses to disaster. These are among the most accessed and downloaded resources.
Discussions between WP and physical therapists involved in humanitarian responses identified a need to advocate for the presence of rehabilitation professionals, including physical therapists, in all phases of disaster management. There is a need to strengthen their role in preparedness, to promote their role in emergency medical teams (EMT), and to affirm the need for the establishment or development of physical therapy services in disaster areas.
This led to the formation of a project team to develop a report on the topic. The team was supported by an advisory group with representatives from frontline service delivery in emergency situations, academic centres of excellence, physical therapist professional organisations, established international non-government organisations, the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) and the World Health Organization (WHO).
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