Strengthening Rehabilitation Services in Laos

May 5th, 2022 | News


Access to health, rehabilitation, and social services helps people with disabilities live independently and enhances equal participation in society. The USAID Okard project, implemented by World Education, is increasing the Laos government’s ability to strengthen rehabilitation policies and strategies, and is training health providers on rehabilitation techniques and supplying them with necessary equipment.

Rehabilitation trainers attend the launch ceremony of the training facility for medical professionals in Laos, supported by USAID, World Education, and the Okard project.On April 20, US Ambassador to Lao PDR Mr. Peter M. Haymond and Vice Minister of Health Dr. Sanong Thongsana launched the Continuous Professional Development Training Facility for Health Professionals at the Center for Medical Rehabilitation. The Okard-supported facility will build the capacity of more than 150 doctors, nurses, and physiotherapists across the country to provide rehabilitation services. World Education provided the facility with equipment such as a ceiling hoist to help people with injuries and disabilities practice movement; and recruited and coached trainers.

Man tests out the ceiling hoist for gait training that was provided to the center for medical rehabilitation in Laos by World Education, USAID, and the Okard project

Through the project, World Education partners with both the public and private sectors to increase local ownership of disability inclusion, rehabilitation, and mental health policies and ensure long-term sustainability. The project is supporting the government to enact the National Disability Law and the National Rehabilitation Medicine Strategy. These new policies will support people with disabilities to access services and benefits. Okard also helped the Ministry of Health complete the World Health Organization Systematic Assessment of Rehabilitation Situation, which provided clear recommendations on strengthening rehabilitation within the health system.

By focusing on meeting the needs of people with disabilities and the communities that support them, World Education is helping the health system to support people with disabilities. Through policy, assessment, training, and equipment, equity and access to rehabilitation will continue to grow.

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