European Region of the WCPT Newsletter 69 - April 2020
In this issue:
- Editorial: The Chair’s corner
- European Region WCPT General Meeting 2020 - Rescheduled and reorganised
- 5th European Congress of the European Region WCPT on Physiotherapy - Education - 2020
- Information and resources about COVID-19
- Simple exercises designed by a physiotherapists for older people to do during the COVID-19 lockdown.
- EU COVID-19 Response
- EU Open consultation - Europe's Beating Cancer Plan: Let's strive for more
- Towards united action for better health: new WHO Regional Director for Europe takes up office
Editorial: The Chair’s corner
It is difficult to know where to begin this edition. Life in Europe, as we know it, has changed beyond recognition since the last edition. While it was only late January, it seems like a lifetime ago since I wrote my last ‘chair’s corner’ and it is difficult to remember life before the virus. Our lives have been turned upside down by the impact of COVID-19 and so many of you have been involved in providing critical services, while many others have been providing essential services, many of you have been unable to work and some of you are among the health professionals with COVID-!9 or have family members who are unwell. It looks like the numbers of people testing positive is beginning to lessen in some of the more affected countries while in some other countries, the numbers are sadly rising. All of us on the Executive Committee hold all of you in our thoughts and in our hearts. We will come through and there will be brighter days ahead, which will seem more precious than ever.
I am immensely proud of the contribution of our profession during this crisis and I thank each of you who are members of the multi-disciplinary team involved in patient care.
We also have to think to the future and how we will meet the needs of the population in a post COVID-19 environment. We have to prepare for the demand for pulmonary rehabilitation as well as for targeted rehabilitation of older people who have become deconditioned.
As you will see below, the WHO has appointed a new Director for the European Regional Office. Dr. Hans Kluge has stated that one of his priorities is ‘to ensure health security in the face of emergencies and other threats to health’. Never has this priority been as pertinent as now. I congratulate Dr Kluge and wish him well in his role; coming as it does at this critical juncture in the health of European citizens.
Like many meetings lost to the virus, we had to reschedule and reorganise the General Meeting. This decision was not taken lightly but safety is the guiding principle. I am so sorry not to be seeing you in person in Prague but equally, I am looking forward to seeing you in Leuven in September.
We will be talking to you in the webinars in the coming weeks to answer questions or clarifications you have about the documents on which you will be voting electronically. Until then, stay safe and well and take care of yourselves and of one another.
European Region WCPT General Meeting 2020 - Rescheduled and reorganised
The Executive Committee has given careful consideration to the implications of the COVID-19 pandemic and has decided that the forthcoming General Meeting planned to be held on 7 & 8 May in Prague, the Czech Republic, will be rescheduled and reorganised. The health and safety of delegates is paramount.
The 2020 GM will now take place in two separate parts:
Part 1 – By video recordings, remote presentations and electronic voting. MOs are asked to cast their votes by 8th of May.
Part 2 – Face to face discussion sessions on Thursday 10 September 2020, in Leuven, Belgium, (on the day before the 5th European Region Congress on Physiotherapy Education)
The Executive Committee has agreed that the European Region of WCPT 2022 General Meeting will be held in Prague (Czech Republic).
5th European Congress of the European Region WCPT on Physiotherapy - Education - 2020
A total of 167 abstracts have been selected for the 5th European Region Congress of the ER-WCPT.
In view of the COVID-19 crisis, the Project Board has agreed to extend the early bird registration fee until the 15th of May 2020
Information and resources about COVID-19
Disclaimer: It has not been possible for WCPT to quality assure the information provided.
Simple exercises designed by a physiotherapists for older people to do during the COVID-19 lockdown.
These simple Strengthening and Balance Exercises have many benefits for older people. They are designed to improve mobility, maintain flexibility, improve brain health, enhance memory and lift mood - all with the aim of facilitating people to resume normal life and activities when the restrictions have been lifted in each country.
EU COVID-19 Response
The European Commission is coordinating a common European response to the Coronavirus outbreak.
President von der Leyen has established a Coronavirus response team at political level to coordinate our response to the pandemic
All the measures and meetings of EU authorities are constantly uploaded to their website and social networks.
EU Open consultation - Europe's Beating Cancer Plan: Let's strive for more
The aim of the public consultation is to allow EU citizens and stakeholders to contribute and voice their opinion on the best ways to address this issue in the EU. The results of the consultation will feed into the outline of Europe's Beating Cancer Plan and help identify the areas and the scope of future action. The consultation will run till the 7th May 2020.
The European Region has already submitted a response to the consultation and encourages Member Organisations and physiotherapy experts to contribute.
Towards united action for better health: new WHO Regional Director for Europe takes up office.
Dr. Hans Kluge, a Belgian national, has been endorsed – on 3rd February 2020 – by WHO’s Executive Board to lead the Organisation’s Regional Office for Europe for the next five years. He will direct international health work across the 53 countries of the WHO European Region, serving a population of 900 million people.
“Together, we must build a pan-European culture of health, where health and well-being goals guide public and private decision-making, and everyone can make healthy choices,” said Dr. Kluge.
Explaining his vision for health, Dr. Kluge commented, “Every child, every woman and every man in our beautiful and diverse Region has the right to health. I am committed to delivering united action for better health. This means applying the best data and evidence, demanding increasing investment in health, strengthening our health systems around people’s needs, and extending inclusive and non-discriminatory access to health care to all. By so doing, we build fair, happy, sustainable societies for ourselves and generations to come”.
A medical doctor, Hans Kluge brings extensive international experience in medical practice and public health to the position of Regional Director, having worked in countries across three continents. For the past decade, prior to today’s appointment, Dr. Kluge served as Director of the Division of Health Systems and Public Health, and Special Representative of the Regional Director to combat Multi/Extensively Drug Resistant Tuberculosis at the WHO Regional Office for Europe.
Dr. Kluge is the seventh Regional Director elected to lead the WHO Regional Office for Europe, taking over from Dr. Piroska Östlin, Regional Director ad interim, following the appointment of Dr. Zsuzsanna Jakab as Deputy Director-General of WHO in 2019.
Six strategic directions
As Regional Director, Dr. Kluge will focus the activities of the Regional Office in six strategic directions, using the framework of the Sustainable Development Goals and building on WHO’s global priorities.
“In recent months, I have been fortunate to visit each and every country in the European Region, listening to the concerns and problems facing patients, caregivers, health workers, ministers and presidents alike. No single person, no one country, can tackle all the health challenges they face alone. But if we combine our efforts to find practical, context-specific approaches, we can and will,” added Dr. Kluge.
The six strategic directions are:
- provide a roadmap for the Region’s future to better health;
- ensure health security in the face of emergencies and other threats to health;
- empower people and increase health behaviour insights;
- support health transformation at all levels of health systems;
- leverage strategic partnerships for better health; and
- take the Regional Office towards further excellence.
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