Report of Western Pacific Regional WHO Meeting in Manila, Sept 22-26th 2008
REPORT of WPRO Meeting in
At the request of Robert George I recently attended the Annual meeting of the Western Pacific Region of WHO in
Above: Main Meeting Hall Manilla WHO
The Director General Dr Margaret Chan was in attendance and many of the representatives from the various nations were Ministers of Health. A new Director General for the region was elected.
The meeting brought together NGOs from a number of organizations and I was able to have discussions with several related to the possibility of international accreditation systems. (World Council of Nurses; World Federation of Physical Therapy; International Hospitals Federation) This will be useful if we intend to move forward in this area.
Sitting in on some of the business meetings re emphasized to me that as an organization we must embrace a more careful connected strategic approach, such as results based management. This is the usual form of development in most international organizations that I know and at its simplest, it links budget to strategies, and results are measured on the success of expected results or performance indicators which are identified each year. I hope that if we do have another meeting of the board, that we seriously consider this approach. We must be seen to be on track with our strategic direction while being accountable to our members.
This was a marvelous experience for me as I have never attended a WHO related meeting before. I did find it rather overwhelming and recognized that we are just a small cog in a very big engine. Hopefully my “squeaking” made a few more aware of what we achieve with our modest budgets. The meeting next year will be held in
Cynthia Cowling, ISRRT, Director of Education
ISRRT presentation to meeting of WPRO,
Mr Chairman, Distinguished Representatives, Regional Director and Officers of WHO Regional Office, NGO Representatives and Observers.
Thank you for the opportunity to briefly address this meeting.
My name is Cynthia Cowling and I have the privilege to represent the International Society of Radiographers and Radiological Technologists. (ISRRT) The President Robert George is unable to attend due to other commitments in this region. He has suggested that I attend in my capacity as Director of Education to inform you of some of our educational activities globally. The Society has over 85 member countries and represents more than 300,000 imaging professionals around the world.
In our capacity as an NGO officially recognized by WHO, we work collaboratively with many international societies. We have become the official voice of the profession with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and International Radiology Quality Network,(IRQN) We provide the technologist educational stream at the International Congress of Radiologists ( Morocco in June 2008, Shanghai 2010). We are a member of the Associated Sciences Consortium of the Radiological Society of North America (RSNA) and assist with technology education for The European Congress of Radiology. ( ECR),
We have developed a close relationship with the regional arm of WHO in the
Working directly with the WHO Global Steering group for Diagnostic Imaging and Medical Devices, the ISRRT has developed workbooks which function as stand alone instructional materials. These provide all the information, tests, practical tips and teaching strategies needed to run a workshop, and can be used in a train the trainer capacity.
Above: Cynthia Cowling giving presentation to WHO
Above: Cynthia Cowling giving presentation to WHO
Activities currently underway are the development of a digital imaging workshop for
Radiology and Ultrasound are often not seen as central to the policies and strategies of the WHO, where primary care and medicine is always the first concern. Yet, for many of the strategies and actions outlined in the WPRO Regional Directors report of
Health sector development requires radiology services which are effective and efficient.
The PAHO /ISRRT collaboration has recognized the significant role played by the radiographer. Simple, regular maintenance of equipment can reduce the all too familiar sight of nearly new and expensive x ray machines lying idle or broken because of a minor fault. A quick response is to ask for or buy another one. A better long term strategic approach is to train those individuals using the equipment to look after it by implementing a regular maintenance program. Similarly the introduction of a simple but effective Quality Assurance program can improve consistency of results, lower costs and reduce radiation exposure to the patient and clinical staff.
The introduction of digital equipment into radiology departments is seen as a method of improving quality. It requires less water and negates the need for film purchase. However, of three digital machines introduced by WHO into
Patient and clinical staff must work in a safe environment. The IAEA and ISRRT are working together to ensure that training workshops include those professionals who directly administer radiation to the patient.
Radiation safety is a key concern in those regions that have radiation therapy departments. Radiation therapists play a key role in the dosimetry and delivery of radiation. Any strategic plan that involves the implementation of therapy services must have a suitable training program, linked to the specific needs of that region.
The improvement of reproductive and maternal health is seen to have significant impact on the economies of many developing nations. Ultrasound has become an inexpensive, portable diagnostic tool in these two areas. Workshops and courses have been provided to suitably trained midwives in some countries, allowing them to use scans as one method to determine pregnancy health. A recent workshop on breast imaging was held in
Radiographers are beginning to fill the gaps left by insufficient medical staff. This has been recognized by WPRO with the running of a course in interpretative skills X ray operators in
The ISRRT is now being asked to provide international accreditations and validation to educational programs and to clinical radiology facilities. This is a very complex task requiring close cooperation with medical staff and the academic environment. These requests demonstrate that many see the ISRRT as the natural route to gaining a true international recognition in the technical imaging profession.
The mission of the ISRRT, to improve the quality of radiographic practice globally reflects the long term strategic plan of WHO to improve access, quality and use of medical technologies. We look forward to working with the Western Pacific region to help improve the capacity, sustainability and accessibility of radiological and imaging services.
I thank you for your attention and the opportunity to address this meeting. I pledge the ongoing support of the ISRRT towards the work of the WHO.
Director of Education
International Society of Radiographers and Radiological Technologists