Today only one in every 10 people in need of assistive products globally has access to them, and this gap is even more prominent in low- and middle-income countries. Reasons for this include a lack of national resources and programmes for assistive technology including systems to procure assistive products.
The United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD), requests that Member States ensure access to quality assistive products at an affordable cost. At the 71st World Health Assembly in 2018, a resolution on improving access to assistive technology was adopted. Resolution WHA71.8 urges Member States to develop, implement and strengthen policies and programmes to improve access to assistive technology within universal health coverage.
The resolution mandates the World Health Organization (WHO) to provide the necessary technical and capacity-building support to Member States, aligned with national priorities, to develop national assistive technology policies and programmes, including for procurement of priority assistive products. This manual focuses on public procurement and specifically on tendering (competition) for assistive products, accessories, spare parts and related services.
On 06 July 2021, an online webinar was held to launch the WHO and UNICEF manual for public procurement of assistive products, accessories, spare parts, and related services. The event included opening remarks from: