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Two messages from Professor Friedbert Kohler OAM

Friday 8 February 2019   (0 Comments)
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Professor Friedbert Kohler OAM, President of ISPO International, told us why the World Congress 2019 will take place in Japan and how important an international exchange for the P&O sector is.

What are the reasons that the ISPO World Congress 2019 will be held in Japan?

The aim of the World Congress is to increase the focus of the decision makers, public, consumers, professionals and industry on the needs of the individuals who benefit from assistive technology, specifically mobility devices, orthosis and prosthesis. To support this aim the World Congress also moves to Lower and Middle Income Countries. The location for the World Congress is based on a competitive bidding process which addresses the aims and needs of ISPO.

Japan was chosen as it has a very rich history in the field of rehabilitation and prosthetics and orthotics, is highly innovative and well developed in the application of robotics and artificial intelligence in prosthetics, orthotics, mobility devices and assistive technology overall. This country has a strong history of inclusion of individuals with disability including a strong representation in sports for individuals with disability, has a very strong and well developed focus on assistive technology in the ageing population. It`s located in East Asia where the World Congress has not been for many years. This area has a strong National Member Society which can support the organisation of the World Congress, presented a very competitive bid with the support of local, provincial and other governmental agencies and is easily accessible from most parts of the world.

How important is the exchange with Japanese peers?

The exchange with our Japanese and East Asian colleagues is extremely important for ISPO. The expertise of our Japanese colleagues in the fields outlined above is a valuable resource for the whole P&O and rehabilitation communities and all will benefit from foster further interaction with our Japanese peers.

Last November ISPO Asia was established during the Asian Prosthetic and Orthotic Scientific Meeting 2018 (APOSM), aiming to promote communications and facilitate close collaboration among Asian National Member Societies in the areas of educational and professional development, service enhancements and research studies. We see the World Congress in Japan as giving an increased impetus to build relationships, between the countries with less developed and less well resourced P&O and rehabilitation sectors in Asia with the more highly developed and resourced sectors of which Japan is a leading example.

The Japanese have also been very generous in granting aid to support and develop the P&O education and services in Asia, and this will be an opportunity to further develop the relationships and showcase some of the results of this generous support.


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