Report of the The 1st International and 3rd National Conference on Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, April 2014, Pakistan
James.E.Goeney MD MPH
Secretary - Committee on Rehabilitation Disaster Relief, ISPRM
Farooq Rathore MBBS, FCPS
Department of Rehabilitation Medicine, CMH Lahore Medical College, Lahore, Pakistan
Member Assembly of Delegates, ISPRM
Regional Representative , Asia –Oceania Region, ISPRM
Executive Board member, AOSPRM
The 1st International and 3rd National Conference on Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation was held from April 4th -6th, 2014 in Rawalpindi, Pakistan. The conference was hosted by the Armed Forces Institute of Rehabilitation Medicine (AFIRM) in collaboration with the Pakistan Society of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation. Twenty international delegates representing the three ISPRM regions attended from Australia, Bangldesh, Canada, Italy , Malaysia, , Turkey, United Arab Emirates, , the United Kingdom, and the United States. There were more than 500 local participants comprising of AFIRM staff, physicians, Under graduate medical and allied health care students, PT, OT and P&O.
Major General Dr. Akhar Waheed, conference organizing committee patron and chair opened the inaugural session which featured an address by the guest of honor, Mr Mamoon Hussain, the President of Pakistan. The President applauded the services being rendered by AFIRM in providing comprehensive rehabilitation services to the persons with disability. He also emphasized the need to develop similar centers of excellence in the public sector as well.
Dr.James Gosney (USA), secretary of the ISPRM disaster relief committee, presented on disaster rehabilitation and its need in developing countries, highlighting the 2005 Kashmir Earthquake. ISPRM was officially represented by Dr. Levent Ozcagar (Turkey). It was followed by two days of rich and interesting scientific sessions on Spinal cord injuries, neuro-rehabilitation, amputee rehab, pediatric rehab and scientific writing. The conference programme also featured 11 workshops on diverse PMR topics including , chronic pain management, kinesiotaping, musculoskeletal ultrasound, speech therapy, stroke management, spasticity management, and research in PMR. The number of participants in each workshop exceeded 25.
In recognition of disability as a human rights issue and Pakistan’s commitment as signatory of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNCRPD), a Consensus Statement of the Participants of Pakistan’s First International Conference on Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation was drafted. The statement calls for full inclusion and empowerment of persons with disabilities through development of strategy and resources for the management of disability in Pakistan. Training and education capacity building is emphasized. National and provincial rehabilitation councils with mandates to inform public policy and advise on policy implementation are recommended. The statement encourages broad disability stakeholder participation and international collaboration.