World Physiotherapy Africa Region Conference System, 10th WCPT Africa Region Congress

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From advocacy to Action Against Non Communicable Diseases Through Physiotherapist Education
Emmanuel B John

Last modified: 2014-07-23


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World Health Organization statistics shows that the Africa continent carries 25% of the world’s disease burden, but yet has only 3% of the world’s healthcare providers. As the World Confederation for Physical Therapy, Africa Region (WCPTA) 2014 Conference is themed: "From advocacy to Action Against Non Communicable Diseases"; this presentation showcase how improving physiotherapist education can move the continent from advocacy to action against communicable diseases. Currently, Africa with a population of 897 million people has approximately 6,200 physiotherapists; or 1 physiotherapist to 143,871 Africans. Whereas a developed country such as the United States has 1 physiotherapist per 1,562 Americans (US Bureau of Labor Statistics - To move Africa from Advocacy to action, a Vision 2020, and a Vision 2030 for Africa were proposed.

Africa Physiotherapy Vision 2020: By the year 2020, all Diploma (associate degree) Physiotherapists entry-level Education programs must have upgraded to Bachelor of Science (BSc) entry-level curriculum; while a Diploma-BSc bridge program for current Physiotherapy Diploma holders should also be put in place.

Africa Physiotherapy Vision 2030: By the year 2030, greater than 80% of all BSc Physitherapy education program must have upgraded to Doctor of Physiotherapy (DPT) with sufficient skills and knowledge base positioning entry-level professionals to serve as first contact practitioners on the African continent.

As a first action to actualise these lofty goals, the formation of an Africa Physiotherapy Network was announced; three mentorship models for African physiotherapists was also announced for implementation.

Brief Biography of the Presenter:
Emmanuel B. John, PT, PhD is the Executive Director of the Nigeria Physiotherapy Network, and also the Execcutive Director of the newly inaugurated Africa Physiotherapy Network. He was credited as being instrumental to the implementation of a distance Transitional DPT program between University of Michigan-Flint and Nigeria. He is known for his passion and advocacy for the upgrading of Physiotherapist entry-level education in Nigeria, Africa and other developing countries.

Dr. John who is originally from Nigeria is currently based in Henderson, Nevada, USA; and is an Associate Professor & Director of Research of the School of Physical Therapy (SOPT), Touro University Nevada. He earned his Bachelor of Science in Physiotherapy from the College of Medicine, University of Lagos, Nigeria in 1994; he received a PhD in Rehabilitation Science from the University of Kansas Medical Center (KUMC), Kansas City in 2006. Prior to coming to Touro University Nevada, Dr. John was an Associate Professor and Director, Motor Control and Neuromuscular Performance Laboratory in the Doctor of Physical Therapy program at Radford University, Roanoke, Virginia. He was also an assistant professor and Director, Motor Control and Neuromuscular Performance Laboratory at the Department of Physical Therapy, Howard University, Washington DC from 2006-2011. He has over 20 combined years of clinical practice and academic experience in physical therapy curricula both here in the United States and Nigeria. Dr. John was lecturer and clinical instructor for 6 years in a physical therapy program while in Nigeria, a Graduate Teaching and Research Assistant for 4 years at the KUMC, and has been a core physical therapy faculty for 8 years in MPT/DPT programs.

Apart from his teaching assignments, Dr. John has an established and active research agenda in motor control and educational issues, and a quickly developing list of achievements. His scholarship has primarily been that of discovery, and secondarily of physical therapist education issues in developing countries. His principal topics of scholarly inquiry are: 1) effects of age, gender and neurological lesions on sense of motor effort, 2) effects of discharge destination and socioeconomic factors on motor function recovery post stroke, 3) upgrading physical therapist education in developing countries: impact of brain-gain. Dr John is also currently developing a new area of interest in virtual reality and robotics in rehabilitation. Specifically, his new line of enquiry is effects of robotics and virtual reality training on sense of motor effort in patients with stroke survivors and other neurologic lesions. Dr. John’s scholarship addresses SOPT Program mission by addressing the health and educational needs of underserved rural populations on local, national, and international levels.

Dr. John has presented extensively at peer-reviewed national and international meetings. Dr. John is an active member of American Physical Therapy Association (APTA). He was the immediate past Chair of the Stroke Interest Group of the APTA’s Neurology Section. He is also a member of the Nigeria Society Physiotherapy, American College of Sports Medicine, and the American Heart/Stroke Association. Dr. John also brings international healthcare perspectives, expertise and service to his taught courses and research enquiry. Dr. John has over 19 published research abstracts, 31 National and International Conference presentations, peer-reviewed publications in peer-reviewed journals from his previous research works and Education issues.

Contact Information of the Presenter:
Emmanuel B. John, PT, PhD
Associate Professor & Director of Research
School of Physical Therapy
College of Health and Human Services
Touro University Nevada
874 American Pacific Drive, Henderson, NV 89014
Phone: 702.777.3142, Fax: 702.777. 3055

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