Disability and rehabilitation

WHO builds regional capacity for wheelchair service provision in Africa

A regional training on the Wheelchair service training package: basic level took place on 11-15 March in Cape Town, South Africa, hosted by the Western Cape Rehabilitation Centre and the Department of Health of the Provincial Government of the Western Cape.

Twenty-two health and rehabilitation professionals from Botswana, Lesotho, Malawi, Namibia, South Africa, Swaziland, Zambia, and Zimbabwe attended the training. Three of the participants were wheelchair users themselves.

The aim of the training was to familiarize the participants with the various components of the Wheelchair service training package and to enable them to conduct related trainings themselves.

There are around 70 million people worldwide who require wheelchairs, but health and rehabilitation professionals are not always trained adequately to ensure that people with disabilities get a quality wheelchair that meets their needs. WHO created the Wheelchair service training package as a tool to develop the minimum skills and knowledge required by personnel involved in wheelchair service delivery.

This training is part of a series of WHO-led regional workshops that will train 200 experts in the next two years and develop a network of trainers.