Basic level wheelchair training in Vanuatu

An older man sits in his wheelchair, and is leaning over to the side to look at the brakes. A technician is crouching down next to his wheelchair and talking to him about how to use the brakes. The photo is taken from behind, outside in front of a blue garden wall with trees.

“I think I’ve learned so much during this two weeks of training, I strongly believe that it will help VSPD to improve our services”

Motivation Australia recently facilitated a ten-day Wheelchair Service Training Package – basic level (WSTPb) in Vanuatu, in collaboration with a great team of partners!

The training was attended by 17 personnel from a number of services including Vanuatu’s two main referral hospitals – Northern Provincial Hospital and Vila Central Hospital along with personnel from the Vanuatu Society for People with Disability. Motivation Australia was also able to support the attendance of a technician from the Spinal Injuries Association of Fiji.

A male wheelchair user is visited at home, and has taken a photo with the team of training participants and trainers that have visited him at home for a follow up appointment.
Team shot! Visiting a wheelchair user at home to provide follow up.

The training team included i-Kiribati trainers Akoaki Eritane and Tebakaro Aata from Tungaru Rehabilitation Service (TRS), Chris Christensen from the Latter Day Saints Church Charities, and Claire Ibell and Katrina McGrath from Motivation Australia.

The basic level wheelchair service training course focuses on the clinical and technical skills required to safely provide basic level wheelchairs for adults with a mobility disability. It includes all aspects of service provision, from referral and assessment to wheelchair assembly, fitting, user training and follow up.

Through the hard work of the team, nine people with mobility disabilities received new wheelchairs, and an additional nine individuals within communities surrounding the training location received follow up visits to check that their wheelchairs remain appropriate to their needs.

Participants and trainers brought a huge amount of knowledge and experience to the training, making the course a great success. Participants have now returned to their services, where they will use the skills learned to implement and strengthen basic level wheelchair services through their services.

Motivation Australia would like to thank our partners in Vanuatu – the Ministry of Health, the Ministry of Justice and Community Services, and the Vanuatu Society for People with Disability.

Vanuatu is a part of the Pacific MDS Project funded by the Australian Government through ANCP. Motivation Australia also acknowledges the support of the Latter Day Saints Charities for financial support and in-kind donations of quality, appropriate wheelchairs.