WHO Collaborating Centre in Health Workforce Development in Rehabilitation and Long Term Care

Host institution: University of Sydney

WHO Collaborating Centre since: 11 June 2014

Key priorities in line with terms of reference

  • Priority 1 – Building capacity in health-related rehabilitation services for emergency health responses (TOR 1 – to generate and disseminate evidence on an effective allied health, rehabilitation and long-term care provision).
  • Priority 2 – Training and education for the Community-Based Rehabilitation (CBR) workforce in the Pacific (TOR 2 – to build capacity in allied health, rehabilitation and long-term care courses, curricula, educators and practitioners).
  • Priority 3 – Developing essential rehabilitation materials for families/caregivers and community health personnel (TOR 2 – to build capacity in allied health, rehabilitation and long-term care courses, curricula, educators and practitioners).

Achievements in 2017

  • Achievement under Priority 1: Development of draft cyclical model for building capacity in health related rehabilitation services for emergency health responses. This model has four components to building capacity: becoming and staying prepared; locating people with a rehabilitation need during emergency response; post-emergency short-term and longer term rehabilitation follow up; and strengthening rehabilitation services for future health-emergency responses. The model has been built from desk review; consultations with key experts in humanitarian responses; and field trips to the Philippines in August 2017 and to the Solomon Islands in November 2017 with consultations with rehabilitation providers, Disabled Persons’ Organizations (DPOs), emergency management agencies and WHO staff.
  • Achievement under Priority 2: Development of internet-based open source videos of CBR case studies from two Pacific countries as model for future case-based open source videos for Pacific CBR curricula. The videos are complemented by a report on the evolution of CBR and CBR Education the Pacific Way and include a toolbox of infographics and materials for curriculum planning and CBR workforce development. The report comes from a scoping review and consultations with participants at two subregional CBR forums held in October 2016 and May 2017.
  • Achievement under Priority 3: Draft suite of resources on stroke for rehabilitation training of primary health workers and people with stroke and their families. The suite of materials is based on desk review, situational analysis of rehabilitation need and the health system response in Pohnpei, Federated States of Micronesia, undertaken in July 2017.

Priorities and plans for 2018 in line with terms of reference

Priorities and plans linked to priorities for 2018–2019

  • Priority 1. Further development of capacity-building model for rehabilitation and NCD in health emergency response by actioning relevant knowledge, taking actions and leveraging networks in rehabilitation, DPOs and emergency management services at local, district and national levels. Focus on knowledge preparedness component of model for preliminary testing in Solomon Islands in first quarter 2018 with extensions to actions and networking later in 2018.
  • Priority 2. Add to the existing case-based curriculum materials in 2018 and develop a comprehensive curriculum for community-based inclusive development training courses in the Pacific through 2018 into 2019.
  • Priority 3. Produce a suite of essential rehabilitation resources and trial through training, workshops and practical implementation, and evaluate outcomes in low rehabilitation resource setting in the Pacific, potentially Samoa, with anticipated trial during 2018–2019.

Case study

Storytelling for community-based inclusive development: The Pacific Way

Litia Naitanui, President of the Rural Disabled People’s Organisation and Community Based Inclusive Development officer makes home visits in the Fiji mangroves. Photo: WHO CC in Health Workforce Development in Health Workforce Development in Rehabilitation and Long Term Care, the University of Sydney

5 December 2017, HONIARA – WHO provides guidance on community-based rehabilitation (CBR) to support people with disability and their families to meet basic needs and enhance their quality of life. The WHO Collaborating Centre in Health Workforce Development in Rehabilitation and Long Term Care at the University of Sydney supports development of a CBR workforce, training and resources in the Pacific where rehabilitation service and its workforce are scarce.

The Centre works with partners across the Pacific to promote and enhance CBR. Partners include Fiji National University (FNU), Soloman Islands National University (SINU), the Pacific Disability Forum, Fiji National Council of Disabled Persons, Spinal Injury Association in Fiji, People With Disability Solomon Islands, Bethesda Disability Training and Support Centre in Solomon Islands, CBR Unit, Ministry of Health and Medical Services in Solomon Islands and Te Vaerua Rehabilitation in Cook Islands.

Together the centre and partners have produced a series of video stories of everyday empowerment to highlight how CBR contributes to community-based inclusive development (CBID). The stories show how CBR goes beyond health, taking a multisectoral approach that considers the social environment, education and livelihoods. Key themes in the stories include changing attitudes for a more inclusive society; a day in the life of a rural community-based inclusive development officer; profiling individual, social and collective levels of empowerment – through sports and livelihoods; collective advocacy; assistive products to empower re-engagement in everyday life; and the role of CBR in linking people with disability and their families with community resources.

The videos will be used in educational materials in CBR, CBID, allied health and community development and developing CBID strategies for communities across the Pacific. People with disabilities co-designed and developed the videos and there is interest in expanding the range of stories and extending profiling to other Pacific island countries. The videos show that CBR education needs to extend beyond the current narrow focus on health and rehabilitation. Overall, storytelling is an innovative tool in CBR and CBID education.

The next step for the centre is to develop the diversity of case studies into a complex learning activities and resources for FNU, SINU and scalable for use elsewhere. In the future and with support from WPRO, learning modules will be made available for free through WHO Pacific Open Learning Health Net (POLHN). The learning activities will cover core concepts of CBR and CBID service, education, governance, sustainable development, disability inclusive development, and empowerment. The curriculum will be used to support or extend cross-cultural learning experiences and the development of cultural safety, humility and competence.

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