The External Relations Committee (ERC) was reconstituted in 2017 with new membership, terms of reference and expanded roles, incorporating four planned subcommittees: World Health Organisation (WHO)-Liaison, External Societies, Disaster and Affiliated Societies. The standing ISCoS Disaster Committee has been integrated into the ERC as a subcommittee, chaired by Professor Shinsuke Katoh. Creation of a new Affiliated Societies subcommittee under the ERC is a priority once the new ISCoS Constitution has been approved. The aim will be to promote close working relations and partner with affiliated societies and regional networks to develop and/or strengthen services, care and supports for people with SCI. An early activity that the ERC is planning to undertake in conjunction with our affiliated societies and networks is to map SCI services globally against defined criteria.
James Middleton attended stakeholder consultation meetings at WHO Headquarters in Geneva from 10-12 January 2018 with representatives from the WHO Prevention of Blindness and Deafness, Disability and Rehabilitation Unit and other relevant WHO departments, along with rehabilitation professional associations, research institutions, development organizations and funding bodies. The meeting gave feedback on WHO’s rehabilitation agenda for the next three years, as well as a package of tools and resources WHO has developed to provide technical support and practical guidance to help governments in strengthening the health system to provide quality rehabilitation services. The Support Package guides governments through a four-step process of rehabilitation system assessment, strategic planning, establishment of a monitoring framework and evaluation and review processes, as well as implementation.
ISCoS’ new collaborative triennial work plan with the WHO, as a non-State actor in official relations, is being reviewed for approval at the 142nd session of the WHO Executive Board (EB142) taking place in Geneva on 22-27 January 2018. ISCoS has also made a statement to the EB142 relating to the need to strengthen rehabilitation within the draft WHO Thirteenth General Programme of Work (2019-2023).
A collaborative workshop between ISCoS and the International Society of Physical and Rehabilitation Medicine (ISPRM) entitled “Supporting global disaster planning and response for SCI in low resource settings” will be run during the ISPRM 12th World Congress being held in Paris from 8-12 July 2018.