World Health Organisation (WHO)

ISPO is a non-state actor in official relations with the World Health Organisation (WHO). Both organisations have collaborated closely for 20 years.

As a close partner in the WHO Global Cooperation on Assistive Technology (GATE) initiative, ISPO promotes a multidisciplinary approach in advocating for improved access to high-quality affordable assistive products globally. Leveraging its international network, ISPO raises awareness on issues for people with mobility impairments and operationalizes WHO’s GATE initiative. As a result, countries can update and implement policies for better access to assistive health technologies.

Through its activities, ISPO contributes to the following strategic priorities and outcomes of the current WHO General Programme of Work:

  • Improved access to quality essential health services
  • Improved access to essential medicines, vaccines, diagnostics and devices for primary health care
  • Determinants of health addressed
  • Strengthened country capacity in data and innovation

A (non-exhaustive) list of contributions includes:

  • ISPO promotes improved access, quality and use of medical products and technologies by advocating for affordable assistive devices and services, and contributing to the development and promotion of professional standards and guidelines such as the WHO Standards for Prosthetics and Orthotics.
  • ISPO contributes to WHO's work on Priority Assistive Products by providing technical input concerning procurement specifications.
  • By developing and promoting P&O Education Standards, providing guidance and consultation to P&O training programmes worldwide, and accrediting schools according to the standard, ISPO is building an available, competent, responsive and productive health workforce in order to improve health outcomes.
  • By publishing the peer-reviewed journal Prosthetics and Orthotics International (POI), ISPO promotes research in the field of disability and helps to strengthen leadership, governance, and the evidence base of health systems.
  • ISPO currently supports WHO in the development of Wheelchair Service Provision Standards.