Fiji, a popular tourist destination for many, is an island nation in the southwest Pacific Ocean consisting of 332 islands with a population of 881,065 people. The two largest islands, Viti Levu and Vanua Levu, account for more than 85% of the total land area. Viti Levu is the most developed and populated, and the location of Suva, the capital city.

Motivation Australia’s engagement with Fiji began following an initial visit in 2011 by Motivation Australia’s CEO Kylie Mines. Since that time, Motivation Australia has worked closely with the Physiotherapy School within the Fiji National University and the Fiji Spinal Injuries Association (SIA) to integrate the World Health Organisation Wheelchair Service Training (Basic Level); and has partnered with the SIA to support their work in meeting the assistive device needs of people with a mobility disability.

Disability related statistics and information:
• As of 2009, there were 11,402 persons reported with a disability. However, the Fiji National Council for Disabled Persons (FNCDP) estimates that the real figure is likely to be over 85,000 people.
• Based on WHO statistics an estimated 8,810 people require a wheelchair and 4,405 people require a prosthesis or orthosis.
• Fiji signed the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) in 2010, and are working towards ratification in 2017.
• The FNCDP is the National legislated co-ordinating body for disability development in Fiji.
• The Rights of Persons with Disabilities Bill 2016 (soon to be adopted).

Safe transfer training in Fiji

In September this year, Motivation Australia (MA) traveled to Fiji to work with the Frank Hilton Organisation (FHO) Physiotherapy Department to develop and trial a Safe Transfers Training package. The MA team worked with the FHO Physiotherapy team to refine the content of the training before presenting the package together to teachers, parents and carers… Read more »

Fiji: Children’s wheelchair services

MA was pleased to once again work with our partners at the Frank Hilton Organisation to develop their children’s wheelchair services, as part of our Pacific MDS project. The team at FHO provide physiotherapy, hearing and mobility device services for children who attend Hilton Special School and Early Intervention Centre. In the coming months, FHO plan to pilot… Read more »


Basic wheelchair training: Fiji

On a trip to Fiji in May, Motivation Australia (MA) had the opportunity to provide basic level wheelchair service training to seventeen personnel from the Fiji Spinal Injuries Association (SIA), Fiji Ministry of Health and Medical Services (MHMS), Frank Hilton organisation and Kiribati’s Ministry of Health and Medical Services. The eight day training course utilised… Read more »

Welcome to the new SIA Executive Officer

Motivation Australia warmly welcomes Mere Roden into the position of Executive Officer of our partners, the Spinal Injuries Association (SIA). Joshco Wakaniyasi, Executive Director since 2008 is taking a well-earned break; having led the SIA through a solid period of growth and consolidation. Mere takes over the reins with a strong knowledge of the SIA… Read more »

Urinary Management Products Trial

Motivation Australia and the Spinal Injuries Association of Fiji have now completed our trial of urinary management products in Fiji. Our evaluation of the trial included interviews with participants and key stakeholders involved in the project. Overall, the monthly supply packs were considered a great success, and we witnessed significant health, financial and social benefits… Read more »


Wheelchair Service Management Workshop

Running a successful wheelchair (or any other assistive technology) service requires management level support. That means that managers need to understand how to plan, implement and manage their service; motivate personnel; and ensure that the right resources are in place when they are needed. In most developing countries, service managers also need to be incredibly… Read more »

Fiji technical training

Motivation Australia, Fiji National University (FNU) School of Physiotherapy and the Spinal Injuries Association (SIA) have been working together since 2012 to increase the numbers of trained wheelchair service providers. Together we have trained a number of clinicians and technicians using the Wheelchair Service Training Package – Basic level (WSTPb). In 2012, FNU integrated the… Read more »

Tags: , ,

Cyclone Winston Fiji

On Saturday February 20th 2016 the category 5 tropical cyclone Winston made landfall in Fiji. Winston would turn out to be one of the most powerful cyclones in recorded history, with winds gusting to 320 km/h. Fiji is a Pacific nation of over 100 inhabited islands, and as news started to filter in from these… Read more »

Fiji Wheelchair Provision Forum

Motivation Australia, the Fiji Spinal Injuries Association (SIA) and the College of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences, Fiji National University recently convened the first Wheelchair Provision Forum in Fiji. The Forum brought together key stakeholders to discuss strategies to increase access to appropriate wheelchairs for girls, boys, women and men in Fiji with a mobility… Read more »

Urinary Management Products Trial underway

Motivation Australia’s Urinary Management Product trial has now commenced in Fiji. In keeping with our philosophy of ensuring that any assistive device is provided through a service delivery model, Motivation Australia and our partners in Fiji the Spinal Injury Association (SIA) have developed a collaboration with the National Urology Centre to implement the trial. Five… Read more »


A child in Fiji being fitted with his new wheelchair.

Furthering wheelchair service delivery training in Fiji

In February – March 2015, Motivation Australia, Fiji National University (FNU) School of Medical Sciences and Nursing Physiotherapy department and the Spinal Injuries Association (SIA) of Fiji worked together to successfully deliver the World Health Organisation (WHO) Wheelchair Service Training Package – Intermediate level (WSTP-I) course in Suva, Fiji. Nine physiotherapists and four wheelchair technicians… Read more »

The potential of Peer to Peer in rehabilitation

Motivation Australia and the Fiji Spinal Injuries Association (SIA) has launched a Peer to Peer programme in Suva. Peer to Peer programmes are about people with a disability training, mentoring and supporting other people with a similar disability. Our Peer to Peer programme, which focuses on wheelchair users, began in Suva with a one week… Read more »


Peer to Peer Pilot

Peer to Peer training means the provision of training, support and basic rehabilitation for people with a disability by those with a similar disability. In the Spinal Cord Injury (SCI) context this covers wheelchair mobility skills, health, disability awareness, relationships and sexuality. Motivation Australia is working with the Spinal Injuries Association of Fiji to run… Read more »


Urinary Management Products Trial

In many developing countries, there is a lack of access to Urinary Management Products (UMP). For people with a permanent disability that results in urinary incontinence; a lack of UMPs results in an inability to participate actively and an increased risk of urinary complications. While the scale of the problem is difficult to quantify, Motivation… Read more »

Tags: , ,

Mobility Device Services Support

Using World Health Organisation (WHO) statistics, there are an estimated 8,700 people who require a wheelchair for mobility in Fiji. The International Society of Prosthetics and Orthotics statistics suggest a further 4,290 people require prosthetics and/or orthotics. There is no reliable statistic that assists in estimating the need for walking aids; however the current escalating… Read more »

Tags: ,


Fiji’s first WHO training course

2012: June saw Fiji National University (FNU) school of physiotherapy students and lecturers participate in Fiji’s first WHO Wheelchair Service Provision (basic) training course. The WHO training package focuses on developing the skills and knowledge of personnel involved in wheelchair service provision for adults and children who have a mobility disability – but can sit… Read more »