(Health): Physiotherapy and telemedicine demand rises amid Covid: Moot told

Karachi:Worldwide outbreak of Covid-19 has put some serious implications as a whole, especially on the medical side like physical therapy. At the initial stage of pandemic, physiotherapists were not required at the hospitals but when patients started coming with the issues of neurological disorders due to Covid-19, the role of physical therapy has become more and more clear to the health care community, says Dr Sumaira Imran Farooqui, Principal, Ziauddin College of Rehabilitation Sciences, Ziauddin University.

She expressed her views during the panel discussion of an informative virtual seminar “Road to Recovery: Physiotherapy in Rehabilitation and Covid-19” to mark World Physiotherapy Day and to recognize and appreciate the work of the physiotherapists during the critical time of Covid-19.

While talking about the challenges faced by physiotherapists during the Covid-19, she said there were so many challenges like communication, physical interaction, anxiety, technology challenges, and time management in this COVID era. This era was the learning for all the Physiotherapists.”

On the question about the growth and progress of the field of physical therapy in Pakistan, she exclaimed that this profession had grown over the period of time globally, as well as in Pakistan. Clinical services of physical therapy open further doors for the emergency care and intensive care to involve physiotherapists and open new areas for the development of health care. International therapists are visiting Pakistan to train our physiotherapist for the skills which are very much required in this profession.

While talking about Physiotherapy in Rehabilitation and Covid-19, Dabeer Ahmed Khan, Special Secretary Health, Representative Government of Sindh in National Command Operation Center (NCOC) on Covid-19 Monitoring said: “There was a limited use of tele-medicine before Covid, but since this pandemic arrived, all the OPDs were shutdown and we started telemedicine. It was very difficult to introduce tele-medicine in the rural areas because people are not very well aware of technologies and this online culture, we are lacking in internet services, networking issues and technology use.

While answering the question about the Covid-19 situation in Pakistan he uttered “since ever the WHO has declared the pandemic all over the world Pakistan has also taken the right decision at the right time and achieved its goal by controlling Covid-19. I think we have fought successfully with COVID as compared to other affected countries and are still struggling.”

Naheed Kapadia, Senior Specialist, Dubai Health Authority Latifa Women and Children Hospital talking about the challenges faced by physiotherapists about maternal issues during Covid-19 said our mostly patients are the maternal and children and majority of them who were suffered with Covid during the pregnancy very difficult to motivate and mobilize them, because they didn’t even have any idea how this Covid-19 going to impact on their pregnancy and baby which is going to be delivered.

Dr Abid Mehdi Kazmi, Clinical Head, Department of Rehabilitation Sciences, Ziauddin College of Rehabilitation Sciences, Ziauddin University carried out by saying that just like any other profession in physiotherapy profession it was totally upside-down condition during pandemic. We had to reconsider the whole treatment protocol and it was physically and emotionally challenging to send our physiotherapists to the fields even after knowing the seriousness of the epidemic disease. But still I can proudly say that our therapists played their role with great courage and sacrificed their family time and resting hours to treat their patients during the Covid-19.