One of the major causes of this dramatic situation, especially in the developing world, is that the prosthetics and orthotics profession is severely or completely neglected by educational systems in these regions. There are no or very few opportunities for newcomers to get a comprehensive and standardized training in this profession, as there are no or very few opportunities for somewhat experienced practitioners to improve their skills and catch up with the pace of the world. When this is seen from the viewpoint of people with physical disabilities, whose quality of life depends heavily on the availability of prosthetics and orthotics services, the scenery becomes even more sombre.
To build the capacity of prosthetics and orthotics personnel, according to the World Health Organisation, “structured training and continuing professional development (CPD)” are needed. Although efforts have developed over the past several decades to cater to the needs for education in this sector, still “more transformative training and education are required” to improve the situation.
Since 2007, Human Study has implemented numerous complex educational projects in Asia, Africa and Europe with which we have fostered development in prosthetics and orthotics sector, improving the quality and range of services offered to physically challenged individuals.
Our approach is to work with international and national stakeholders to respond to the huge need communicated by individuals and institutions from all corners of the world. Creating a network around each project that we implement and adapting to the local needs, we strive to achieve longstanding sustainability and local independence, set on the cornerstone of the international standards of assistive devices provision.
Blended Learning training mode allows participants to stay on the job and continue service delivery while undergoing training. It can help practitioners without previous formal training to have a recognized education and others to upgrade to a higher educational level. This type of training can be particularly useful in emergency contexts and in countries where there are only a few prosthetics and orthotics personnel, who cannot be released from their jobs for full-time training. (WHO, 2017)
Latest from Our Projects
WHO Standards for Prosthetics and Orthotics
In 2017, WHO issued a comprehensive document called Standards in Prosthetics and Orthotics and a manual for implementation of these standards, which serve “to support countries in developing or improving high-quality, affordable prosthetics and orthotics services”. We use these standards as our guidance to structure our approach to implementation of educational programs for P&O cadre. We closely collaborate and exchange with WHO and ISPO to ensure the alignment of our work with these standards.
The document portrays the importance of the availability of quality prosthetics and orthotics services in all communities. It states that P&O services benefit people in need by providing them with an increase in mobility and functionality, so that they can stay active and productive, go to work and school. With assistive devices, persons who experience physical disabilities have a greater independence, participation in society and well-being, which helps them to “lead longer, dignified lives of higher quality”. Economic benefits for the individual users and their families, as well as the community as a whole are multifarious and speak for the importance of enabling access to prosthetic and orthotic services for people in need.
Prostheses and orthoses should be available to all who need them. Their provision positively affects the health and well-being of users and their families and has broader socioeconomic benefits. These devices help people to become more active and to live healthy, productive, independent, dignified lives and to participate in education, the labour market and social life. (WHO, Standards)
Prosthetics and orthotics services thereby contribute to removing barriers and integrating people with physical impairments or functional limitations into society and giving them equal opportunities, as is their right. (WHO, Standards)
Characteristics of our educational projects:
Available to P&O practitioners anywhere in the world
Independent of national education policies or significant investments in learning facilities and institutions
Flexible, adjustable and low-cost with a practitioner-friendly approach
Have tremendous potential for multiplication
Create a sustainable base of P&O education in developing countries worldwide by educating future teachers who are able to advance education in their region.