The International Rehabilitation Education and Training Toolkit (IRETT) hits the headlines in Pakistan

Physiopedia, as part of ReLAB-HS, has recently been recognised by Pakistan news outlet International, highlighting the importance of investing in rehabilitation and assistive technology education and the value in using tools such as the IRETT to facilitate workforce development, build rehabilitation capacity and improve the quality of rehabilitation care.

Many of us will need physical rehabilitation at some stage in our lives. In fact it is estimated that 1 in 3 people globally – around 2.4 billion – are living with a health condition that would benefit from rehabilitation. In response to this Physiopedia have been working as part of the Learning, Acting, and Building for Rehabilitation in Health Systems (ReLAB-HS) programme, funded by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), that responds to the escalating need for physical rehabilitation and assistive technology (AT) services in low and middle-income countries, with a current focus in both Uganda and Pakistan.

ReLAB-HS activities in Pakistan take place at both national and provincial level and have included Global Rehabilitation Leadership Institute (GRLI) training advocating for rehabilitation and assistive technology. A key element has been workforce development – the rehabilitation workforce is essential to the provision of comprehensive and person-centered care, yet many regions around the world are challenged to provide a rehabilitation workforce with the appropriate number and mix of rehabilitation professionals that match population needs, service requirements and models of care. Challenges often include a shortage of personnel, inadequate training programmes, a lack of regulation and inadequate awareness of the benefits of rehabilitation. To address these challenges a new toolkit has been developed and implemented by Physiopedia.

The International Rehabilitation Education and Training Toolkit (IRETT) is a set of resources that can be integrated into any region’s education or training activities to facilitate workforce development in order to build rehabilitation capacity and improve the quality of rehabilitation care. It focuses on four themes that consistently arise when evaluating workforce challenges, and tools have been developed for each, to practically guide activities related to academic reflection, professionalisation and regulation, clinical skills training and rehabilitation advocacy.

It’s a high time for local stakeholders to join hands for collaboration and utilise the resources or IRETT for the capacity building of rehabilitation workforce. There is need that through IRETT activity national curriculum is designed keeping the local context in mind. Moreover, it should also provide a component of continuous professional development which involve upgradation of current practicing professional skills to meet the pace of advancement in rehabilitation discipline.

The impact of the IRETT, among other ReLAB-HS activities in Pakistan, was recently recognised in a Special Report of the International News.

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The article highlights that education in rehabilitation fuels innovation and drives advancements in the field. By training the next generation of rehabilitation professionals, educators inspire creativity and critical thinking, encouraging students to explore new approaches and technologies to improve outcomes for individuals with disabilities.

As we strive towards a more equitable and accessible society, investing in rehabilitation and assistive technology education is not just a moral imperative but a pathway to a brighter and more inclusive future for all.

Read the full article for more detail, and keep checking back here for details of all the Physiopedia rehabilitation workforce activities.

This work is supported by the USAID funded Learning Acting Building for Rehabilitation in Health Systems (ReLAB-HS) project and is not possible without the generous and committed contribution of the Leahy War Victims fund.

ReLAB-HS is made possible by the generous support of the American people through the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and is implemented under cooperative agreement number 7200AA20CA00033. The consortium is managed by prime recipient, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.