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 rate of lower limb amputations in Fiji as a result of diabetes; indicates that the demand is significant.
Unfortunately, to date, there is an in-sufficient supply of appropriate mobility devices in Fiji, and limited service delivery (trained personnel able to fit and adjust mobility devices for individuals). However, the Spinal Injuries Association of Fiji has been working to address this need, through receipt and provision of donated re-furbished second hand wheelchairs and (wherever possible) new, low cost yet appropriate wheelchairs.
Through this project, Motivation Australia will continue to work with the SIA, to:
- Increase the clinical and technical capacity of the SIA to manage and provide quality basic level wheelchair services;
- Increase access to quality basic level wheelchair services for women and men with a mobility disability living in the Central District of Fiji; and at least one other Fiji District in partnership with other organisations;
- Explore sustainability solutions to continue to support consistent and effective mobility device services in Fiji including advocating for Government funding and support for these services.
The project duration is August 2014 – June 2016, and is supported by the Australian Non-Government Cooperation Programme through the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade. Thank you also to the LDS Church Charities and Wheelchairs For Kids who make a huge contribution to this programme by the donation of appropriate wheelchairs.
For more information, contact Kylie Mines.