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 upright without additional postural support.
Thirteen physiotherapy students and lecturers participated in the training course; they were able to assess, prescribe, fit and provide user training to eighteen wheelchair users who participated in the practical sessions.
Technicians from the Spinal Injury Association (SIA) Fiji, and the Tamavua Rehabilitation Hospital also completed Motivation Direct technical training in order to support the practical sessions with wheelchair users. They will also share the role of following up wheelchair users after the training course to ensure that their wheelchair continues to meet their needs.
This training course was run as part of the WHO Integration: Fiji and Solomon Islands project. In order to integrate wheelchair service training into the curriculum’s of some of the health professional courses in the Pacific Region, Motivation Australia has teamed up with FNU and the Solomon Islands College of Higher Education (SICHE); the first training activity was carried out in Honiara in May. The second Fiji training course will be run in August with community based rehabilitation aide (CRA) and physiotherapy students.
The WHO Integration: Fiji and Solomon Islands project is funded by the Planet Wheeler Foundation, the WHO and Motivation.