We are delighted to be joining esteemed rehabilitation experts to address the urgent need for rehabilitation and Assistive Technology (AT). Learning, Acting and Building for Rehabilitation in Health Systems (ReLAB-HS) is a 5-year global project funded by USAID that supports the development of local health systems that are responsive to the increasing need for rehabilitation.
New USAID award for strengthening physical rehabilitation in health systems
UCP Wheels for Humanity is delighted to join the Learning, Acting and Building for Rehabilitation in Health Systems consortium (ReLAB-HS). Along with consortium partners, we will implement this flagship program that will address the growing global need for physical rehabilitation, including appropriate assistive technology, services. ReLAB-HS is funded by an award from the United States Agency for International Development’s (USAID) Leahy War Victims Fund (LWVF).
ReLab-HS aims to strengthen the development of responsive and sustainable physical rehabilitation services across the lifespan in the communities where they are most needed, as well as building health system governance and employing the use of technology and digital assets to improve physical rehabilitation globally.
The need for physical rehabilitation services, including assistive technology, is urgent and growing—more than 2.4 billion people worldwide are estimated to benefit from physical rehabilitation services. The proportion of the population over 60 will double in the next 30 years, the majority of whom will live with chronic disease. Approximately 150 million children and adolescents experience disabilities, and injuries for people of all ages are becoming more frequent due to conflict, rapid urbanization and motorization. These enormous unmet rehabilitation needs are concentrated amongst the poorest and most vulnerable populations in low- and middle-income countries and conflict-affected settings.
This five-year, $39.5 million program will transform the way people think about physical rehabilitation as part of health systems. It will work globally and in a number of low- and middle-income countries with varying levels of physical rehabilitation need and infrastructure. ReLAB-HS presents a genuine opportunity to provide real improvements in the quality of life, functionality and independence for people through simple interventions at the primary care level, and the use of technology to bring physical rehabilitation further into community settings.
ReLAB-HS will focus on building local and international leadership, crafting local, demand-driven approaches and innovations, and working largely in community and at home settings, implementing real and relevant rehabilitation and policy solutions.
“For 25 years, UCP Wheels for Humanity has increased access to mobility through strengthening rehabilitation and AT services in less resourced settings,” said Perth Rosen, Senior Program Director at UCP Wheels for Humanity. “The ReLAB investment by USAID is a significant step toward formalizing AT-inclusive rehab integration into health systems – we couldn’t be more thrilled to partner with our esteemed colleagues to build a roadmap for inclusion through universal access.”
ReLAB-HS will be led through the Johns Hopkins International Injury Research Unit at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, sUSA and co-led by the Nossal Institute for Global Health, Australia. Other consortium members include Humanity and Inclusion, MiracleFeet and Physiopedia.
UCP Wheels for Humanity looks forward to working in partnership on this program to support the development responsive rehabilitation services that can meet this escalating global challenge.
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