I am very delighted to wish you a happy World Physiotherapy Day. This year’s celebration coincides with the 60th Anniversary of the Nigeria Society of Physiotherapy and therefore gives us a lot more to celebrate, but more importantly to make reflections about the state of our profession.
Physiotherapists in Nigeria have distinguished themselves in putting people back to work and daily lives and have contributed towards reducing and eliminating the chronic pain of many Nigerians. This indeed calls for celebration of all Physiotherapists contributing towards uplifting the image of the profession in various areas of endeavor. The upgrade of the Bachelor of Physiotherapy (BPT) to Doctor of Physiotherapy (DPT) is also worth celebrating as it sets a stronger foundation for specialization and professional autonomy. The establishment of the Postgraduate Physiotherapy College, which is registered and recognized by relevant government agencies, gives Physiotherapists in Nigeria the opportunity to develop clinical skills and competencies required to give best services to the people of Nigeria and beyond. The development of Clinical Practice Guidelines by NSP Specialty Groups and partnership with eight hospitals to establish Centers of Excellence in eight Physiotherapy specialty areas are also important aspects to celebrate as we celebrate this year’s World Physiotherapy Day. These achievements would not have come to fruition without the efforts and contributions of Physiotherapists in Nigeria over many years.
Just as we are celebrating our collective achievements, it is a good time to make reflections about the state of our profession. How are our ethical conducts in the practice of Physiotherapy? How do we ensure the Postgraduate Physiotherapy College gives us the competencies required to change our practice and help our patients better? How do we push for further institutionalization of the College through bills in the National Assembly and other processes? How do we sensitize government agencies to employ Physiotherapists to provide more services to Nigerians while at the same time engage our teeming youths? How do we implement aspects of the Scheme of Service that ensure capacity building as we move across ranks? How do we establish good governance in the running of our dear Society, the NSP? How do we participate in policy making and implementation to ensure our interests are captured in policy documents?
These questions can only be comprehensively answered if we put our heads together and chat a way forward for our Profession. I would like to encourage you to attend the 59th Annual Scientific Conference and 60th Anniversary of the Nigeria Society of Physiotherapy in October were important decisions will be taken to answer the questions raised above. The NSP 5-Year Strategic Plan, Reviewed Ethics and Professional Practice Guideline, Ordinance of the Postgraduate Physiotherapy College and Reviewed NSP Constitution are some of the important documents that will be considered at the Conference/AGM.
I wish to finally and most importantly call on all Nigerian Physiotherapists to give unity a chance. Our individual capacities put together is much greater than any individual or group's capacity in tackling the myriad of challenges we are facing. I pray that the 60th Anniversary of the Nigeria Society of Physiotherapy will witness a very big boost with the coming together of all Physiotherapists in Nigeria.
Thank you and God bless you all.
Rufai Ikechukwu Gbolahon Ahmad