Fiji: Wheelchair service training

Image description: Two men lean over a table, reading an assembly manual. Both of them are pointing to the page. Next to them on the table are parts of a wheelchair and some tools.

Motivation Australia and the Cerebral Palsy Alliance recently collaborated to deliver an intermediate level, wheelchair training course for 20 Fijian, Ni-Vanuatu and I-Kiribati personnel in Suva, Fiji.

Intermediate level wheelchair services provide wheelchairs with extra support for children and adults who need this support to sit comfortably and safely in their wheelchairs.

Providing these types of wheelchairs requires more knowledge, skills and resources – and this training course is the first stage of training for many personnel in the Pacific Region – and around the world.

During training, content from the WHO’s Wheelchair Service Training Package – intermediate level (WSTPi) is combined with content developed by Motivation Australia’s training team. This helps us to deliver both clinical and technical training through theory sessions, group activities and practical sessions providing intermediate level wheelchairs for wheelchair users.

19 wheelchair users attended the training’s practical sessions; they were assessed by training participants, and provided with an appropriate, intermediate level wheelchair. This included a boy called Tasi, who received his first, ever wheelchair. It was a fantastic experience for his training team, who were able to see him become independent so quickly. You can see a video of his assessment and provision experience here.

Motivation Australia would like to acknowledge and thank the following organistions:

  • Our Fijian partners who collaborated on this training course: the Spinal Injuries Association (SIA); Frank Hilton Organisation (FHO); and, the Ministry of Health and Medical Services (MoHMS). In particular, we would like to thank Jane Savou (SIA) and Sazmin Nisha (FHO) who coordinated all client logistics, and without whom the course would not have been such a success!
  • Tungaru Rehabilitation Service (TRS), Kiribati, who continue to support their personnel to travel to attend training courses throughout the Pacific.

    mage description: A team of participants of the training and their trainers all pose for a group photo. Some are sitting on the floor, some are sitting on chairs while others are standing. Everyone is looking at the camera and smiling.
    Training participants and trainers on the final day of training.
  • Our Vanuatu partners: the Ministry of Health (MoH); the Ministry of Justice and Community Services (MoJCS; Vanuatu Society of People with Disability (VSPD) who continue to champion and progress intermediate level wheelchair services.
  • FHO and the SIA for providing wheelchairs, consumable materials and technical support for the training course.
  • Funders of the training course: the Australian Government through the Australian NGO Cooperation Program (ANCP); Cerebral Palsy Alliance; the June Canavan Foundation; Universal Charitable Fund; and the Tudor Foundation.
  • Funders of appropriate wheelchairs in Fiji: The Latter-day Saints Charities (LDSC); Wheelchairs for Kids; Fulton Hogan Hiways.

Would you like to know more about the Pacific MDS Project, our work in the Pacific Region or intermediate level wheelchair service training? Please contact Pacific MDS Project manager, Lauren Flaherty.