Wanted to Pass this On
Posted on Jul 13, 2018
We came across this and thought it was interesting, so we wanted to share it with you.
WHO Collaboration Presents Public Health Opportunities for Chiropractic
The World Health Organization (WHO) held its 71st Assembly May 21-26, 2018, at the United Nations headquarters in Geneva. The World Federation of Chiropractic (WFC) is the only chiropractic organization with status as a non-governmental organization in official relations with WHO.
WHO is the directing and coordinating authority on international health, and uses the annual Assembly to set norms and standards for ethical and evidence-based health care policy. Over four days of plenary sessions, committee meetings, and technical briefings, participants learned about an impressive breadth and depth of operations at WHO—and a chiropractic profession that is primed for more meaningful engagement with the broader public health community.
Despite the global range of interests, resources and infrastructure represented among nation members, WHO consistently modeled behavior consistent with the central themes of focusing on patient-centered, evidence-informed, collaborative health care. These shared values create opportunities for chiropractic to engage WHO in key areas of concern. Among these include global strategies on healthy ageing, diet and physical activity, and integrated, people-centered health services. However, perhaps the most obvious opportunity for chiropractic to demonstrate public health leadership is in the management of musculoskeletal disease.
WHO has sharpened its focus in recent years on noncommunicable diseases (NCDs), which are responsible for 70 percent of deaths worldwide. This includes cardiovascular disease, cancer, diabetes, and chronic lung disease. A key message championed by the WFC delegation and others at the Assembly was recognition of musculoskeletal conditions generally, and back pain specifically, as NCDs of significant consequence. Back pain is responsible for the most years lived with disability worldwide.
A recent brief, coauthored by two chiropractors and published in the Bulletin of the World Health Organization, clearly makes the case for working cooperatively to address the impact of musculoskeletal disorders on society. Strategies range from policy that include musculoskeletal health as integral components of essential care packages, to improved coordination of care for multi-morbid patients in private practice. Patient-centered, evidence-based practice is central to facilitating trust among a multidisciplinary group of providers, in addition to improving outcomes of care.
Given unyielding trends in the burden of these conditions, and recent international attention garnered by the recent series on back pain in The Lancet, chiropractic is poised for unprecedented opportunity. Capitalizing on this opportunity will require a coordinated effort among the profession, with unyielding focus on patient-centered, evidence-informed, collaborative solutions. It is through this lens that chiropractic will meaningfully contribute to resolving back pain as a public health concern, and realize its value proposition within the healthcare system.