Kicking goals in Samoa: project update

The last five weeks have been busy ones on our project in Samoa. We are very pleased to welcome our new Principal (service manager) to the Mobility Device Service (MDS) team at the Samoa National Health Service. The Principal came on board just in time to join us for five weeks (part time) of the WHO Wheelchair Service Training Package – Intermediate Level, with some extra Motivation Australia sessions and an expanded number of practical sessions. 20 young people of various ages and their families participated in the practical sessions with the ten trainees, over five service provision cycles.

The clients and the trainees were awesome! The resources are pretty limited compared to ‘rich country’ seating services – but with a mixture of core seating principles, hard work and a lot of fun – they achieved some tremendous outcomes for their clients. Following the training the MDS team will begin offering on-going Intermediate level services for children and adults. Their first task will be following up all the clients who participated in the training.

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At the same time a new purpose built facility funded by Australia, New Zealand & World Bank was completed, and on Thursday 25th June the Mobility Device Service team moved into their new premises! The team will be operating from this purpose built facility from now on.

In front of the building you can see one of the two accessible vehicles funded by the project for clients to travel in. Both the cost and inaccessibility of local transport options was cited as a major barrier to people with mobility disabilities accessing services during our pre-project consultations.

The MDS which has been providing Basic level wheelchair & walking aids services since November 2014, has seen a total of 273 clients to date. Well done team!