In 2016, representatives from the government, organizations of persons with disabilities, service providers and the Tanzanian Red Cross formed a multi-sectoral policy platform for advocating the rights of persons with disabilities. This platform emerged after their participation in the Senior Leadership Programme run by the USAID-funded LMG project with MoveAbility and other partners. To help strengthen national capacities, we will provide technical guidance and funding for the platform’s efforts to: study on the needs of persons with disabilities in Tanzania; develop a national plan for physical rehabilitation, based on existing government policies; and lobby for legislation in favour of persons with disabilities. We will also aid the platform in supervising the implementation of the plan, which will include provisions for including physical rehabilitation services in national health insurance.

In June 2016, the CCBRT inaugurated a new facility that we built and equipped to serve as a training centre for prosthetic and orthotic technicians from the region. It will manage this facility together with the Tanzanian Training Centre for Orthopaedic Technicians (TATCOT), and we will work with them to organize distance-learning modules and specialized courses for service providers in the region. We will also assist students on finding internships, and those assigned to CCBRT will get raw materials to be used in their training. Additionally, one instructor from TATCOT will receive a scholarship for a master’s degree, and we will organize peer-exchange field trips for faculty from TATCOT and the University of Rwanda’s College of Medicine and Health Sciences.

We will continue to support CCBRT in improving the quality of their services by encouraging them to systematically conduct patient-satisfaction surveys and technical assessments, and to carry out follow-up home visits. The results of these surveys will be presented to the policy platform, in order to use the data as a basis for their activities. The CCBRT’s management will also be advised on ways to improve their systems and processes. To help persons with disabilities access the services they need, we will subsidize the transport expenses of some CCBRT patients, and donate raw materials for the devices of patients at MoH-run centres during student’s clinical placement.

The development of relationships with other stakeholders, including the Tanzanian Paralympic Committee and the Tanzanian Red Cross, will continue. Notably, we will support the latter in organizing a sporting event for persons with disabilities, and sign an agreement with the latter on an operational partnership to identify, refer and follow up on people in need of physical rehabilitation services.

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