AT in the Federated States of Micronesia

“I always depend on my husband and other people. Seeing the different devices gives me hope and makes me realise I can do it all myself.”

– Participant from the FSM Stakeholder Consultation Workshop

In April, MA’s Kylie Mines and Larissa Burke travelled to the Federated States of Micronesia (FSM) as part of our FSM Assistive Technology (AT) project. The purpose of this consultation and scoping visit was to better understand the health, disability and assistive technology context of FSM so as to enable the drafting of a strategy aimed at increasing access to AT provision for the people of FSM.

During the week long visit, MA met with over 20 stakeholders including health and education services, government agencies, donors and disabled people’s organisations. MA also conducted a two day stakeholder consultation workshop in collaboration with the FSM Department of Health and Social Affairs (DHSA) and the Pohnpei State Department of Health with over 40 attendees.

These stakeholder consultations gave MA a valuable insight into the rehabilitation and AT needs in FSM, particularly for the state of Pohnpei. This will enable drafting of a ‘road map’ for AT priority activities to increase mobility and independence for people in FSM, particular people with disability, older persons and people with disabling conditions including non-communicable diseases.

We would like to especially thank Stuard Penias from the DHSA and Johnny Hadley from the Pohnpei State Department of Health for their support in coordinating the many meetings during our visit. Thank you also to the local World Health Organisation (WHO) Country Liaison Office and the WHO Western Pacific Regional office for ongoing support and funding of the project.