The impact of aid investment for orthotics and prosthetics: the case of Nippon Foundation and Exceed
The global population is changing—people are living longer, and disease patterns are shifting from premature death to years lived with disability—and from communicable disease to non-communicable disease and injuries. Social and health systems are slow to respond to these population shifts. Specific services for people with disabilities, which include ensuring timely and affordable access to assistive products like orthoses and prostheses, are often especially slow to develop. For many users, these services are very effective in reducing or eliminating structural and functional limitations—even if stigma and many limitations in equal community participation remain.
The Nippon Foundation is a Japanese philanthropic Foundation who have supported Exceed rehabilitation services and professional education for over a decade through leadership training, scholarships for students, training/clinical materials and supplies and building infrastructure. The Foundation funded this evaluation in order to assess and demonstrate the impact of long-term investment in rehabilitation services in low and middle-income countries.
The Nossal Institute visited five countries where Exceed graduates have been engaged in rehabilitation services. The Institute developed a profile of prosthetic and orthotic services and workforce in each country including current challenges and the systems in place to sustain and develop workforce capacity. Meeting with those who have received prosthetic and orthotic services the Nossal team gained an understanding of the impact rehabilitation had on their lives. This evaluation provides timely insight into the mechanisms needed to develop and sustain services essential for responding to the impact of rising global rates of non-communicable diseases and injury.