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News & Press: Advocacy

ISPO attends first Global Rehabilitation Alliance Meeting

Wednesday 11 April 2018   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Adeline Prieur
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In view of the increasing prevalence of non-communicable diseases and the ageing population coupled with the realization that many countries do not possess the required rehabilitation services to face this growing demand, the World Health Organization launched the initiative “Rehabilitation 2030 – a Call for Action” in February 2017. The Call for Action aimed not only to highlight the role of rehabilitation in achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) but also to insist on the need for coordinated and concerted global action towards strengthening rehabilitation in health systems.


Based on this, it became quickly evident that advocacy and raising awareness were fundamental elements to  move from ideas to actions: the first step was  to raise awareness among key stakeholders, including policy makers, health professionals and service users of the magnitude of the unmet need and the role and benefits of rehabilitation. This motivated the creation of the Global Rehabilitation Alliance, uniting civil society under a common vision and aimed to serve as a powerful advocacy platform towards the implementation of the Call for Action.


Working in strategic partnership with WHO, the Global Rehabilitation Alliance’s mission is to advocate for the provision of rehabilitation as an integral component of Universal Health Coverage, and to be a strong, cohesive body of stakeholders, united to further the development of rehabilitation around the world.


Towards this end, the objectives of the Global Rehabilitation Alliance are to:

  • become a global voice to advocate for the development and implementation of rehabilitation services through collaboration, knowledge-sharing and consistent and accurate messaging;
  • reframe rehabilitation as a concept and strategy which fully embraces health and functioning;
  • promote coordinated and concerted action to scale up high quality, user-centred rehabilitation services;
  • strengthen rehabilitation networks and partnerships through identifying and fostering opportunities for collaboration; and
  • unite professionals across rehabilitation disciplines to develop innovative approaches to address shortages in skilled rehabilitation providers in many countries.


To achieve its objectives, the Global Rehabilitation Alliance will:

  •  dissemination of information
  •  publish position papers
  •  organize or participate in conferences, workshops and seminars.
  •  use a number of accessible platforms, including online forums, to facilitate knowledge exchange and discussion, and to strengthen networks. 


Participation in the Global Rehabilitation Alliance is open for user groups, professional associations, multi-stakeholder organizations, condition-specific organizations, scientific societies, and academic institutions. The Global Rehabilitation Alliance will work with strategic partners, i.e. WHO and other United Nations (UN) agencies, relevant regional bodies, national governments and funding organizations.


ISPO President Friedbert Kohler participated in the Global Alliance preparatory meeting in Berlin on March 20 and 21, 2018, to discuss the proposal for the creation and foundation of the Global Rehabilitation Alliance. A foundation assembly is to be held in Geneva at the World Health Assembly in May 2018.