Review of Samoa’s Prosthetics and Orthotics components and materials

A woman learning to use her prosthetic leg walking outside her house, supported by one of the MDS staff members.

In October Motivation Australia’s Lee and Katrina visited Samoa to undertake a rapid review of the prosthetic and orthotic components and materials that had been procured for the Mobility Device Service (MDS) as part of the Samoa Integrated Mobility Device Service (SIMDES) project.

The review focused on the following key areas:

  • Service facilities and personnel – whether the range of prosthetic and orthotic devices, materials and components are compatible with the training and expectations of Samoan prosthetic and orthotic personnel.
  • Durability – the appropriateness of the range of prosthetic and orthotic devices, materials and components for the coastal, Pacific Island environment and user demographics.
  • Efficacy – a rapid assessment of whether the range of devices which have been provided are effective for Samoan users: fit for purpose (appropriate prescription provided), meet their expectations, provides adequate fit and biomechanical function, provide an acceptable degree of mobility (can the user do what they need/want to be able to do) and facilitate common activities of daily living in Samoa.
  • Cost effectiveness – whether the cost of the devices provide good value for money when considering their durability and effectiveness.

During the review, Lee and Katrina met with the MDS team and interviewed 26 people across Samoa who had received a prosthetic or orthotic device from the MDS.

Key findings show that many clients are achieving a high level of function and independence using their device. This positive outcome is more likley when they understood how to use them and when to seek assistance from the team at the MDS for repairs, maintenance or additional training. As one client stated, “now I have a prosthesis I can go back to normal life”.

It was great to find that more than half of the people interviewed are able to walk a kilometre or more because of their device and many have been able to return to daily activities at home and in the community. A daughter of one of the clients said “you can’t find her in her house anymore, she is always out

Such positive outcomes are a good reminder of the importance of rehabilitation, user training and follow up on achieving successful outcomes for clients.

Overall, the results were very positive and the Motivation Australia team continue to be impressed with the professional skills of the Samoan Prosthetist Orthotists and how well the devices were made. The components and materials used by the MDS are proving to be durable and the devices of high quality.


For more details on the outcomes of the review including the conclusions and recommendations please contact SIMDES Project Manager Ray Mines.