Fed. States of Micronesia
The Federated States of Micronesia (FSM) is a Micronesian country in the Western Pacific region. It has a population of 106,000 and is comprised of 607 islands, of which 65 are inhabited. There are four main groups of islands, which form four constitutional states and four distinctly different ethnic groups: Pohnpei, Chuuk, Yap and Kosrae.
Independence for FSM came in 1986 under a Compact of Free Association with the US. Under this agreement, FSM controls domestic and foreign policy whilst the US is responsible for national defence and security and continues to provide financial and development assistance.
Motivation Australia (MA) was invited in 2017 to respond to a call by the Western Pacific Regional Office (WPRO) of the World Health Organisation (WHO) for technical assistance; aimed at supporting the Federated States of Micronesia (FSM) Department of Health and Social Affairs (DHSA) to:
• Analyse the current system of Assistive Technology (AT) service provision in FSM
• Develop a plan for improving quality and reach of assistive device service provision in FSM
Disability related statistics and information:
• According to the FSM 2010 Census, 11% of the FSM population were found to have a disability. This equates to approximately 10,000 people.
• The high prevalence of non-communicable diseases in FSM, which contributes to health conditions such as diabetes and stroke, means that the disability prevalence and demand for appropriate assistive technology in FSM is likely to increase.
• FSM became a signatory to the United Nations Convention on the Rights of People with Disability in 2011 and ratified the convention in December 2016.
• FSM has a ‘National Policy on Disability 2009-2016’ which advocates for a nation that embraces equal rights, opportunities and dignity for all. The policy acknowledges that AT is vital in improving mobility, independence and quality of life and it advocates for the improved provision of AT.