Making Musculoskeletal Health a Global Priority

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An international research team has found that despite being the world’s leading cause of pain, disability and health spending, the prevention and management of musculoskeletal health, including conditions such as low back pain, fractures, arthritis, and osteoporosis, do not have a global priority worldwide. They have devised an action plan to address this gap.

At the helm of the project, Professor Andrew Briggs of Curtin University said more than 1.5 billion people were living with a musculoskeletal disorder in 2019, 84% more than in 1990, and despite many “calls to action “and an aging population, Health the systems continue to give no priority to these conditions and their rehabilitation requirements.

“One of the limiting factors in reform efforts is that so far no global strategic response to the burden of disability has been developed. This new data-driven initiative will be key to guiding global work on reforming disability. health, such as what the World Health Organization did, ”Professor Briggs said.

“Addressing musculoskeletal health requires more than just health care reform“It demands prioritization and inter-ministerial cooperation and collaboration with industry, transport and the built environment.”

In response to a call from the Global Alliance for Musculoskeletal Health (G-MUSC) based at the University of Sydney, the international team of researchers drew up a current global picture for the prevention and management of musculoskeletal health, identified current trends in national health. policies and developed a plan to prioritize musculoskeletal health reform efforts in eight key areas.

Professor Lyn March, of the University of Sydney, said the plan was structured around critical areas for health systems reform, including community education; leadership and governance; health financing models; service delivery models that support integrated, person-centered care; equitable access to medicines and technologies; increase the capacity of the health workforce to provide appropriate care at the right time; population health surveillance; and research and innovation.

“Each area is supported by detailed actions and priorities that countries can choose to adopt in order to build capacity in their health systems," Professor March said.

“It is important to note that the plan is informed of people working in all areas of health and, critically, of people with living experience of musculoskeletal diseases.

“This plan is practical and can inform how it could be a global strategic response and how countries can respond to musculoskeletal health to stop the growing global burden of disability and costs.”

Professor Helen Slater of Curtin University said the plan was developed with input from a group of nearly 700 stakeholders from 72 countries, representing 116 organizations.

“Research that has found guidance at the global level, such as the World Health Organization, is needed for country-level responses on musculoskeletal health and this plan provides that guidance that countries, including countries with low- and middle-income earners, they can adapt to suit local needs and priorities, ”said Professor Slater.

The work will now be considered by global agencies such as the WHO and will be widely shared among countries, organizations, and disciplines so that musculoskeletal health is integrated with others. health care reform initiatives on the course of life and aging, rehabilitation, non-communicable diseases, and injuries and trauma.

The project was funded by the Bone and Joint Decade Foundation, with additional funding provided by Curtin. The international team of researchers is from: Curtin University; Kolling Institute and University of Sydney; University of Toronto; Canadian Memorial Chiropractic College, University of Kathmandu, and the University of Southern Denmark.

Two research papers will be published in Global health research and policy i BMJ Global Health and the resulting report “Towards a Global Strategy for Improving Musculoskeletal Health” will be published on the Global Alliance for Musculoskeletal Health website.

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