Disability and rehabilitation

First Community-based Rehabilitation (CBR) workshop held in Polynesia Region

The first Polynesia Region Community-based Rehabilitation (CBR) Workshop took place 12-14 June in Apia, Samoa.

The workshop was a collaboration between WHO, the Pacific Disability Forum, and the Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat, and was locally supported by the Government of Samoa; the national disabled people's organization, NOLA; and SENESE Inclusive Education.

The event brought together disability government focal points, representatives of disabled people's organizations, and key disability and rehabilitation service providers from American Samoa, Cook Islands, Samoa, Tonga and Tuvalu.

The Samoan Minister for Women, Community and Social Development opened the workshop welcoming participants and efforts to achieve greater inclusion of people with disability. An official country launch of the World report on disability took place with key findings and recommendations for the Pacific region highlighted.

Mr Chapal Khasnabis of WHO led the three-day workshop. He highlighted CBR's flexibility, referring to it as a key strategy for making the rights of people with disability real in their home and local community. Mr Setareki Macanawai, CEO of the Pacific Disability Forum, commented that the collaboration between government, disabled people's organizations and service providers in the Polynesia region was strong and that this was a strength all stakeholders should build upon when developing CBR.

CBR is practiced in over 80 countries around the world as a key strategy for empowering people with disabilities and building inclusion, and it continues to grow in the Pacific region. WHO, the Pacific Disability Forum, and the Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat will also be supporting workshops in Melanesia and Micronesia.