Kiribati in country visit

Diabetic Foot Clinic nurse talking to UniSA's Podiatry lecturer.

Motivation Australia’s recent work in Kiribati has been across two projects; the Pacific Mobility Device Service (MDS) Project, and the Kiribati Amputation Prevention (KAP) Project.

In February, Katrina McGrath was able to visit partners in Kiribati for:

  • The final KAP Project visit
  • The final Pacific MDS Project visit for the 2017-18 year

Kiribati Amputation Prevention Project

Katrina worked with the team from the Diabetic Foot Clinic (DFC) at Tungaru Central Hospital to: review service data, meet with DFC clients to learn more about their experience of the DFC and conduct a final evaluation of the project.

Although the number of clients accessing the DFC was lower than expected, I-Kiribati partners and MA were pleased to learn that the clients’ value the services provided. There has been improved healing rates, with less infection, reducing the likelihood of clients requiring an amputation.

Positive ‘word of mouth’ about the service has been developing, which should begin to increase the reach of the clinic and result in increased demand for the service.

University of South Australia

 MA is always keen to work with other organisations that can provide effective training, mentoring or support for our partners. We are pleased to announce that the University of South Australia (UniSA) School of Podiatry are partnering with MA to support he DFC team.

UniSA’s Associate Professor Sara Jones and Doctor Ryan Causby joined MA on this trip as part of their orientation to the service. Sara and Ryan along with senior podiatry students will return to Kiribati three times this year to offer additional mentoring to the DFC team and raise awareness about the prevention and treatment of diabetic foot ulcers amongst medical personnel and community members. MA is excited about the benefits that this collaboration will bring to the development of diabetic foot care services in Kiribati.

Pacific Mobility Device Service Project

As part of the Pacific MDS Project, MA are working with two Tungaru Rehabilitation Service (TRS) personnel to develop their knowledge, skills and confidence to provide training and mentoring for I-Kiribati personnel in the provision of basic level wheelchair service provision. This will enable TRS to provide training and mentoring to new personnel as well as expand services to outer island through the training of community based Assistant Social Welfare Officers and Medical Assistants.

The TRS training team will be co-training with MA in Vanuatu in April, and this visit was an opportunity to introduce them to the training material and discuss plans for the upcoming training.

During the visit MA also had the opportunity to provide mentoring and training in prosthetics, orthotics and wheelchair service provision for existing TRS personnel, through supported service provision.

Motivation Australia would like to thank our Kiribati partners from the TRS, DFC and Tungaru Central Hospital for their help and support during this visit and would like to acknowledge the wonderful work they are doing to support the people of Kiribati. Motivation Australia acknowledges the valuable contribution of the Australian Government, Kiribati’s Ministry of Health and Medical Services and LDS Charities for their support of the KAP and PMDS projects.