The Deputy Speaker, Jacob Oulanyah, has pledged support to the Uganda Physiotherapy Association’s advocacy agenda to regulate the profession.
Oulanyah said many people have suffered more injuries caused by those claiming to be physiotherapists.
“I had a bad experience. A friend of mine after traveling for long went for massage. They touched a wrong nerve and he got paralysed,” Oulanyah said.
The Deputy Speaker made the remarks at a walk to mark the World Physiotherapy Day that was commemorated on Sunday, 08 September 2019. The walk that covered parts of Kampala was held on Friday.
Oulanyah challenged physiotherapists to increase their efforts in professionalising and regulating the profession. He urged them to constantly engage government to develop a legal framework and policy on physiotherapy.
He said that there is an increase in complications in physical health hence the need for regulation and policies.
“It is a big problem; almost everybody is limping, everybody is stretching and groans because they feel pain somewhere. That is why your capacity should be built so that human life is made better,” Oulanyah said.
Oulanyah advised the Association to explore ways of addressing the financial gaps they are experiencing by engaging Parliament through the relevant committees.
The Board Chairperson of the Uganda Physiotherapy Association, Jonas Mwesigye, said the profession is now being practiced by those who have not studied it hence putting the health of many at risk.
“This is now a very grey profession. Anybody who does massage is now a physiotherapist. We would like to have a legal claim of the words ‘physiotherapy’ and ‘physiotherapist,’” said Mwesigye.
He added that there is need for an Act of Parliament establishing the Physiotherapy Association of Uganda.
The President of Uganda Physiotherapy Association, Susan Akori, said physiotherapists are making strides towards professionalising the practice.
“We started with diploma courses and have upgraded to bachelor’s degrees,” said Akori.
She added that construction of another school offering diploma courses in physiotherapy is ongoing at Nsambya Hospital to cater for the increasing numbers.