Walking aids are a commonly used assistive device, however remain in short supply in many low income countries, including PNG. Along with insufficient funding for procurement, one of the barriers to their provision is a lack of staff trained to provide them. In-correct provision and a lack of maintenance and availability of spare parts such as rubber crutch tips can increase the risk of falls, and act as a barrier to mobility, independence and participation.
Motivation Australia, in partnership with the PNG Assembly of Disabled Persons, recently completed a Walking Aid Training Package (WATP), a resource for national trainers to train community level personnel how to safely and effectively provide walking aids.
The WATP was launched in Port Moresby in April 2016 through a trainer’s workshop for national trainers from Callan Services, the National Orthotics and Prosthetics Service, Cheshire Homes and the Physiotherapy School at the Divine Word University.
Nine trainers, along with an observer from the PNG Assembly of Persons with Disabilities, were introduced to the range of trainer resources and tools available in the WATP, practiced some of the skills associated with safely providing walking aids, and discussed how the WATP will assist them in their work training community level personnel to provide crutches, walking frames, walking sticks and wheeled walkers.
The development of the WATP was funded by the Australian Government through the Strongim Pipol Strongim Nesen project.
For more information about the training package contact Lauren Flaherty