Laying the foundations for market shaping and systems-level change
The new WHO Assistive Products Specifications is the first global guide for quality-assured assistive products, containing specs for 26 prioritised assistive products, including the minimum quality requirements for manufacturing. Funded by UK Aid under the AT2030 programme, the work is a major milestone to drive high quality, affordable AT globally.
It is estimated that about 100,000 people need a wheelchair in Kenya annually. Across the 47 counties in Kenya, anecdotal evidence showed that health centres and access points for rehabilitative services are not evenly distributed, appropriately staffed, and sufficiently equipped. The situational analysis showed that Kenya’s access challenges are driven by a policy gap, limited service points with few trained personnel, fragmented delivery landscape, no national specifications, standards or supply chain and limited financing of rehabilitative services and wheelchairs.
Under Cluster 3: Country Implementation of the AT2030 programme, AT2030 partners are working with country governments to identify opportunities to drive availability and affordability of AT. EYElliance, CHAI and the AT2030 programme published a case study on work happening in Liberia to expand access to eyeglasses so that students can achieve better outcomes in school.
The World Health Organization (WHO) defines assistive technology as ‘the application of organized knowledge and skills related to assistive products, including systems and services.’ Assistive products are ‘any external product (including devices, equipment, instruments or software)…the primary purpose of which is to maintain or improve an individual’s functioning and independence, and thereby promote their well-being’.1 Put simply, assistive products are the products and assistive technology is the whole ecosystem that is needed for their safe and effective provision and use.