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Solomon Islands: Access to Mobility

The Solomon Islands are situated North East of Australia and made up of nearly 1,000 islands spread across thousands of kilometres of Ocean. The UN ranks the Solomon Islands on its list of Least Developed Nations. There are approximately 5,000 people who need a wheelchair in the Solomon Islands, most living in rural areas with limited access to roads. The remoteness and isolation of each island community makes the establishment of rehabilitation services for people with a disability very challenging.

In 2009 Motivation Australia established a pilot wheelchair service in the capital Honiara. In 2010 Motivation Australia launched the Access to Mobility programme, building on our successful partnership with the Community Based Rehabilitation (CBR) Unit of the National Rehabilitation Hospital to extend wheelchair services to five provinces. Our partners would also like to increase the focus on gender equity and explore the reasons why more men have been able to access the pilot service than women.

 

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WHO Wheelchair Service Delivery Pilot: Timor-Leste

Motivation Australia and ASSERT joined together to pilot the World Health Organisation Wheelchair Service Delivery Training Package in July 2011. Two Motivation Australia consultants delivered the intermediate module for 16 ASSERT staff. Ten wheelchair users participated in the practical sessions,…

Island perspective: wheelchair provision in Kiribati

You are never far from the Pacific Ocean in Kiribati (pronounced Kiribas). In places the capital, South Tarawa, is only as wide as the road you’re standing on (which also happens to be the only road).

Kiribati is a Micronesian nation consisting of 32 coral atolls and one island, spread over an enormous area of the tropical Pacific Ocean. Kiribati is listed as one of the Least Developed Countries by the UN. It’s a fragile environment; unable to sustain much diversity of food (which leads to widespread diabetes) and extremely low lying making it one of the first nations likely to disappear when sea levels rise due to climate change.

Communication and transport are both problematic and can cause significant delays. It’s also a particularly difficult environment in which to be a wheelchair user; rough and sandy ground, no accessible buildings, salt water corrosion and torrential downpours.

 

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Collaborating for Success: Wheelchairs for Kids

For two weeks in November Motivation Australia’s Lauren Houpapa (Occupational Therapist) and Ray Mines (Wheelchair & Seating Designer) worked with national staff of the Solomons Islands CBR (Community Based Rehabilitation) unit in Honiara to trial the new Wheelchairs For Kids wheelchairs.

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Timor-Leste Wheelchair Basketball – A Partnership with ASSERT

Motivation Australia and local partners ASSERT successfully completed the first Timor-Leste Wheelchair Basketball Clinic last month. This clinic introduced athletes to the basics of the sport and provided three Timorese coaches with the skills to lead sessions throughout the year. The…
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Building Capacity in Thailand

Motivation Australia and the Sirindhorn National Medical Rehabilitation Centre (SNMRC) are working together to enhance wheelchair provision in Thailand.

In September 2009 and February 2010, Motivation Australia ran short courses in wheelchair provision for clinical and technical staff at SNMRC. The first course focused on providing staff with skills in wheelchair assessment, prescription, assembly, fitting and providing wheelchair users with instruction in wheelchair mobility and general health care. The second course took the staff skills further, enabling them to address the needs of children and adults who require supportive seating.

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Peer Group Training in the Solomon Islands

Motivation Australia and the National Community Based Rehabilitation Unit held the first Peer Group Training (PGT) residential course in the Solomon Islands in June this year.

PGT involves wheelchair users training others with a similar disability in skills and knowledge that enable them to carry out everyday activities and achieve an improved quality of life. Read more about Peer Group Training.

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Worldmade Wheelchairs in Central Australia

Motivation Australia is constantly being asked whether we can provide Worldmade Wheelchairs in Australia. The Wheelchairs have been designed for wheelchair users living in environments where the terrain is challenging and accessing repair services are extremely difficult. Worldmade Wheelchairs are therefore incredibly robust, can be maintained locally, and provide an excellent ride over rough and sandy terrain. Yet the wheelchairs do not compromise on the postural support provided for the wheelchair user and come with a pressure relief and posture support cushion.