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ISPO Statement at the World Health Assembly Side Event on Assistive Technology

Tuesday 22 May 2018   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Birgit Krausse
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ISPO is proud to have made a statement at the 71st World Health Assembly side event on "Assistive Technology: Making Universal Health Coverage Inclusive", held on 21 May 2018 in Geneva. The statement was read by ISPO International Executive Board member Claude Tardif.

Read the statement here: 


ISPO Statement
71st World Health Assembly
Side event: Assistive Technology: Making Universal Health Coverage Inclusive
Geneva, 21st May 2018

Esteemed colleagues,

I am pleased to join you today on behalf of the International Society of Prosthetics and Orthotics (ISPO), a committed partner to the WHO Global Assistive Technology Initiative – GATE.

Working together we have made progress in recent years with regards to making Assistive Technology available more broadly. You are all aware of the framework established by the WHO GATE Initiative in 2014, the development of the Priority Assistive Products List in 2016 and the recent launch of the global Standards for Prosthetics & Orthotics Service Provision, the development of which ISPO were honoured to be a part of.  Together with WHO and with other partners, we will continue to strive to ensure that rehabilitation and assistive technology, in particular mobility devices (prosthetics, orthotics, wheelchairs, etc.) service is people-centred, innovative and sustainable as we respond to a growing need globally.

I am sure most of you are aware, that unfortunately we currently only meet the needs of 10% of the world’s population requiring assistive technology. Furthermore, this need is rising along with the global increase in our aging population compounded by a rapid increase in the prevalence of, diabetes, obesity, vascular diseases, and increasing rates of trauma from traffic accidents, war and terrorism.

It is evident that the bulk of our work remains ahead of us.   To achieve the Sustainable Development Goals and fulfil our commitment to “leave no one behind”, we must continue to strive for increased access to rehabilitation services and assistive technologies in all Member States.

For this reason, we, the International Society for Prosthetics and Orthotics, strongly support the Director General report and the Resolution EB 142.R6 “Improving access to Assistive Technology and call on the WHO and our global colleagues to:

  • Produce a World Report on Assistive Technology
  •  Take part in the development of minimum standards for priority assistive products and services
  • Provide the necessary technical support for Member States in developing national policies and programmes
  • Provide capacity building support for the implementation of regional hubs for the manufacturing, procurement and supply of affordable and accessible assistive products.

It will take significant time and effort, but it is only with a coordinated global approach, actively supporting national and regional implementation that those who are left behind today, will tomorrow, have access to education, employment, and take an active part in their society.

Thank you for your attention.