WHO Western Pacific Regional Meeting in Manila, Philippines

Twenty five country representatives from World Health Organization (WHO) member states met in Diamond Hotel, Manila, Philippines  for  a three day WHO Workshop-Meeting  last June  18-20, 2019. The group discussed the planning and monitoring of the Western Pacific implementation of the Regional Framework  on Rehabilitation. Dr. Alarcos Cieza, Prof. Gwynnyth Llewelyn, Prof. Yeoh Eng Kiong and Dr. Linh Vi Le facilitated the discussion.

Member states were encouraged to come up with their rehabilitation strategic plan. Functioning was emphasized as an important measure of the wellbeing and quality of life of the population. Rehabilitation is the public health strategy that will ensure the optimal level of functioning of ageing population. Thus, it needs to be integrated into primary care.

Dr. Filipinas Ganchoon  represented PARM and ISPRM DRC in the said meeting.

Prof Gwynnyth Llewellyn and Prof Alexandra Gargett (The University of Sydney, WHO Collaborating Center for Strengthening Rehabilitation Capacity in Health Systems) conducted  a “Workshop Integrating Rehabilitation in Health Emergencies” on June 21, 2019, at World Health Organization Western Pacific Regional Office in Manila, Philippines.

Suggested competencies and contributions to primary care prior and after health emergencies were discussed. Dr. Filipinas Ganchoon (ISPRM DRC Vice Chair) presented her groups input on competencies prior to a health emergency while Dr. Raymund Balverde (PARM Secretary) presented his group’s suggestion on competencies  after health emergency.

Dr. Josephine Bundoc, (Physicians for Peace) suggested drills for people with extra needs as well as the need for orthotics, prosthetics and assistive devices at the emergency site. Carmen Zubiaga &  Randy Calsena (National Council of Disability Affairs) suggested the use of locally available materials to make orthoses and prostheses.

Anthony Grecia (Philippine Academy of Occupational Therapists), Edward Ello & Melanie Ruiz (Humanity & Inclusion), Dr Lester Leroy (Philippine Society of Public Health Physicians), Rachelle Ligan (UERM Philipine School of Orthotics & Prosthetics), Penafrancia Ching (UP College of Allied Medical Professions), Chai Xavier (WPRO Disabilities & Rehabilitation), and  Devanah Durgavasini (WPRO Emergency Medical Team Focal Point ) also attended the workshop.

The group agreed that there is a need to increase the  disaster responders’ awareness and sensitivity to the needs of people with disabilities.