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DOH CALABARZON conducts the first basic wheelchair training package to service providers and pwds

 A PWD trainee measures the various parts of his wheelchair to ensure that it is properly adjusted to conform to his size during the practicum.

To further develop the skills and knowledge of personnel involved in wheelchair service delivery in the region, DOH-CALABARZON (Cavite, Laguna, Batangas, Rizal, Quezon) in partnership with the Philippine Society of Wheelchair Professionals, Inc. - UP Manila conducted the First Wheelchair Service Training Package: Basic Level for service providers and Persons with Disabilities (PWDs) from February 19 – 22, 2019 at the Ciudad Christhia Resort 9 Waves in San Mateo, Rizal.

“The objective of this training is for service providers to be aware of the proper use and maintenance of wheelchairs and to provide effective procedures to ensure mobility of persons with disabilities (PWDs) without assistance from anyone,” Regional Director Eduardo C. Janairo stated.

“It is very important that wheelchairs are tailored to the personal needs of a user to ensure effective personal mobility. It must be safe and properly fitted because it becomes an extension of their body,” he emphasized.

A wheelchair is the most commonly used assistive device to enable mobility for persons who have difficulty in walking. The device is an essential tool which allows them to go from one place to another, provide opportunities like work, study and enjoy cultural activities and access services like health care. Acquiring wheelchair skills increase the autonomy and self-esteem of disabled persons who learn how to use them properly.

According to Ms. Paulina A. Calo, Nurse V and PWD Regional Coordinator, the training package will help to increase the knowledge and skills of wheelchair users and service providers on the proper use and maintenance including how to stay fit and healthy in a wheelchair; increase the number of service personnel trained in basic level wheelchair service delivery; improve the competencies of wheelchair service delivery; and achieve greater integration of wheelchair service delivery within rehabilitation services.

The World Health Organization developed the Wheelchair Training Service Package: Basic Level following the release of the 2008 Guidelines on the Provision of Manual Wheelchairs in less resource settings. It is estimated that about 70 million people worldwide requires wheelchairs but only 5-15% have access. Most of these have acquired them through donations which are frequently of poor quality and not suitable either for the users or their environment.

The first batch of trainees was attended by 23 personnel from the province of Laguna including 17 PWDs and federation officers from various societies.