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Training programme seeks to enhance skills of rehabilitation professionals in wheelchair service

By Hana Namrouqa - Sep 12,2017 - Last updated at Sep 12,2017

AMMAN — With less than 10 per cent of wheelchair users in Jordan “actually” using their chairs to move around, rehabilitation professionals on Tuesday called for adequate training for personnel involved in wheelchair service delivery.

Providing the “wrong” wheelchair can cause physical and psychological problems to people with disabilities, the health experts said, indicating that it also incurs the country additional medical expenses.

To this end, Al Hussein Society — Jordan Centre for Training and Inclusion on Tuesday announced the launch of a training programme that targets health and rehabilitation professionals to ensure they provide people with disabilities with adapted quality wheelchairs.

Annie Abu Hannah, the society’s executive director, said that the training programme entails participants from Jordan, Lebanon, the West Bank and the Gaza Strip.

“Unfortunately, the process of providing a wheelchair is underestimated at a regional level… It is a process of provision rather than distribution; meaning that every person must receive the wheelchair that suits him/her,” Abu Hannah said at a presser held at the society, which was selected as a certified centre for provision of wheelchairs.

Saddam Kanaan from the Department of Rehabilitation Sciences at the Jordan University for Science and Technology cited figures indicating that percentage of people with disabilities in Jordan ranges between 11.5-15 per cent of the population, highlighting the importance of training health and rehabilitation personnel to help elevate the living conditions of people with disabilities.

Kanaan underscored that providing people with disabilities with wheelchairs grants them independence and mobility, underlining that supplying the wrong wheelchair can cause physical injuries and psychological problems if wheelchairs users were unable to achieve social integration.

Meanwhile, head of the Jordanian Physical Therapy Association, Alia Ghwairi, said that while training providers of wheelchairs is vital, it is also fundamental to train users of wheelchairs.

“Providers must be trained on which chair best suits a person and users of wheelchairs should also receive habilitation sessions on how to use the chair to ensure its sustainability,” Ghwairi said.

The World Health Organisation (WHO) estimates that there are more than 70 million people worldwide who require wheelchairs, yet only 5-15 per cent of people have access to them. 

 

People in developing countries often depend on the donation of wheelchairs, which are frequently of poor quality and not suitable for the users or their environment, according to the WHO website.

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