Conference

UWC Physiotherapy in Geneva for WCPT 2019

As we mentioned earlier this year, five staff members in the Department of Physiotherapy (Conran Joseph, Vuyolwethu Madasa, Tania Steyl, Julie Phillips and Michael Rowe) had abstracts accepted to present at the World Confederation of Physical Therapy Congress in Geneva, Switzerland in May. In addition, two previous members of staff from the department also represented UWC Physiotherapy at the conference; Prof. Anthea Rhoda (Dean of the CHS Faculty) and Prof. Jose Frantz (Deputy Vice-Chancellor of Research and Innovation).

For me what was most rewarding was meeting our past students and seeing how they have matured and grown. I also had the opportunity to interact with Dr Esther Nkandu who is now the Ambassador for Zambia to Belgium and talked about possible ways of connecting UWC, Zambia and Belgium. In addition there were various researchers in the IPE space that I was able to connect with and share similarities and differences. The one thing I realised is that IPE is the way forward and UWC should harness the strength that it has.

Prof. Jose Frantz

We also had the pleasure of catching up with some of our postgraduate students who came from all over Africa to be at the conference. In total, we connected with 16 UWC graduates from Kenya, Malawi, Namibia, Rwanda, South Africa, Tanzania, Uganda, and Zambia. It was a wonderful experience to speak to them and to hear how their postgraduate experience at UWC Physiotherapy has helped to shape their professional careers and personal lives since they walked across the stage in Bellville.

I presented results from a concluded study and the presentation was titled “Factors influencing participation among persons with stroke living in South Africa”. In addition, I met with some colleagues from Australia (Professor Lisa Harvey and Dr Joanne Glinsky) to further our discussions on future collaboration in the spinal cord injury field. And finally, I spent some time attending oral presentation sessions in the area of Neurology and Disability and Rehabilitation.

Dr Conran Joseph

Dr. Haleluya Moshi, who graduated with his Masters from UWC, won the best poster prize for his poster titled Occurrence and Clinical Outcomes of Traumatic Spinal Cord Injury in Rural Kilamanjaro, Tanzania: A one year- Prospective study. The data collected for this poster was part of his PhD, which he recently obtained from Umeå University in Sweden. Both Dr. Moshi and Joanne Kibet (a current UWC PhD candidate) were panelists on discussions around living with a long-term condition, and migrant health respectively. Prof. Phillips also had the opportunity to speak with Nuhu Assuman (who graduated with his MSc from this department), the current Deputy Dean of Research at the School of Health Sciences, University of Rwanda. In addition, Prof. Phillips used the opportunity to spend some time with two of her PhD students.

I got the opportunity to attend my first international conference and present my poster. Travelling internationally was in itself an adventure. The congress was very nice in the sense that it had everything from site visits, exhibitions, Indaba sessions and platform presentations. It was also exciting to see the people I reference or read about, face to face; I was star stuck. I thoroughly enjoyed my trip overall.

Vuyo Madasa

As physiotherapists with our various interventions, we expect individuals to change their behavior in relation to treatment adherence, management and physical activity. Some of the questions posed during the discussions were related to what role the organizational culture play in either enabling or not enabling behavior change for the client. An interesting view point was if it wrong to sometimes accept the patient’s choice in not wanting to change even if it means that their “bad” behavior will persist.

Prof. Julie Phillips

All in all, it seems like the 2019 conference seems to have been a good experience for everyone who went. It was clear that we had quite a few contributions to make at the meeting, but I’d also suggest that the biggest benefits came from the conversations and meetings that happened outside of the sessions. While it’s nice to see what cutting edge work is being done in the field, it’s also good to see how many connections and networks were either started or strengthened. From the conversations I’ve had with people, it seems that these discussions were a really important part of the conference.

List of UWC staff contributions to the conference

  1. Ellis, B. & Rowe, M. Continuing professional development: Do we really need more conferences?
  2. Frantz, J. Student readiness for interprofessional learning at a local university in South Africa.
  3. Joseph, C., Conradsson, D. & Rhoda, A. Factors Influencing Participation among Persons Living with Stroke in South Africa.
  4. Kapapa, M.M. & Steyl, T. Health promotion for non-communicable diseases: Perceptions of physiotherapists and general practitioners in the Southern Province of Zambia.
  5. Madasa, V., Phillips, J., Boggenpoel, B. & Joseph, C. Mortality and risk indicators for death of persons with spinal cord injury in South Africa.
  6. Majee, W., Anakwe, A., Johnson, L., Rhoda, A., Frantz, J. & Schopp, L. A Self-management training Intervention: Perceptions of Community Health Workers in South Africa.
  7. Moshi, H., Sundelin, G., Sahlen, K.G., Rhoda, A. & Sorlin, A. Making Life possible with spinal cord injury in poor rural settings of low-income countries: The case of Kilimanjaro-Tanzania.
  8. Mukaruzima, L. & Frantz, J. Leisure time: Physical activity practices and the influencing factors among government office workers in Rwanda.
  9. Phillips, J. Relationship between self-efficacy and community reintegration among persons with traumatic spinal cord injury in the Cape Metropolitan Area, South Africa.
  10. Rhoda, A. & Groenewald, R. Lived experiences of individuals with stroke: A Phenomenological Perspective (Nominated for a poster prize)
  11. Rowe, M. An introduction to machine learning in healthcare: Implications for clinicians.
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