Building a skilled and knowledgable workforce is essential to increasing access to appropriate, local wheelchair services in the Pacific Region. Over the past 10 years, much of that training has been completed by international organisations, such as Motivation Australia, through a number of difference projects across the Pacific. The Pacific MDS project, for example, trained 100 personnel in five countries in different aspects of wheelchair service provision last year.
While this is a significant and celebrated achievement, the most sustainable path for the Pacific is to move towards locally led training teams, who can provide training, mentoring and continuing professional development for their services.
Motivation Australia is working with ten rehabilitation professionals in Fiji, Solomon Islands and Vanuatu over the next two years, under the Pacific Leaders Project (2019-2021), to build their capacity to provide basic level wheelchair service training. The wheelchair service training will use material tailored for the Pacific Region, drawn from from the WHO Wheelchair Service Training Package, basic level (WSTPb) and Motivation Australia. This allows training teams to draw on international standards for service provision in less resourced settings – while also making it Pacific specific.
Fiji: Ministry of Health and Medical Services, Frank Hilton Organisation.
Solomon Islands: Rehabilitation Division, Ministry of Health and Medical Services.
Motivation Australia acknowledges the valuable contribution of the Australian NGO Cooperation Program (ANCP) to this project. We also acknowledge Ossur Australia and the Eleanor Walker Education Fund for further supporting this project.
Thank you also to the Latter-day Saint Charities (LDSC), who provide donations of appropriate mobility devices to our service partners in the region.