In February Motivation Australia’s Katrina McGrath spent some time in the Solomon Islands where she worked with the Prosthetic and Orthotic graduates recently returned from Mobility India and Community Based Rehabilitation (CBR) personnel.
Katrina spent time with Lower Limb Prosthetist (LLP) Mike Ariki and Lower Limb Orthotist (LLO) Sharon Juvia, talking about their experiences in India, learning about Diabetic foot complications and offloading techniques, and planning for the relaunch of Prosthetic and Orthotic (PO) Services in Solomon Islands. While it is hoped that funds can be raised for a new building to address the needs of the expanded PO services, a start was made on cleaning up the existing workshop to improve the aesthetics and safety for staff and visitors. With work also being undertaken to order essential tools, materials and devices the service is well on its way to resume full services soon. In the interim the new graduates will be spending time in the Hospital and Physiotherapy department to increase their knowledge on health conditions common in Solomon Islands.
Mike and Sharon are very excited to be home and are looking forward to getting to work helping the people of Solomon Islands.
Katrina also had the opportunity to spend some time with CBR personnel in Honiara and on Malaita, practising the assembly of new wheelchairs introduced during last year’s wheelchair refresher training and visiting wheelchair users in the community. Whilst unfortunately the visit to the island of Malaita was delayed and shortened due to the effects of Cyclone Oma, it was great to be able to work with local personnel to see the impact their work has on the daily life of wheelchair users at home, school and in the community.
MA would like to thank the Rehabilitation Division Director and support personnel, CBR officers, Physiotherapists, and Prosthetic and Orthotic personnel for their time and support during Katrina’s visit.
Motivation Australia acknowledges the valuable contribution of the Canadian Government’s Fund for Local Initiatives, and the Australian NGO Cooperation Program (ANCP) to this project.