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Date: 20/08/2021
Author: The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC)
Source: The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC)
Benchmark Statement Prosthetics and Orthotics Services in Lebanon


Lebanese, Syrian and Palestinian people with physical disabilities living in Lebanon are confronted with a variety of barriers that hinder their access to healthcare services especially, rehabilitation services, which include prosthetic and orthotic devices. Furthermore, the absence of a unified and standardized prosthetic and orthotic coverage procedure makes access even more difficult for those individuals.
 
Therefore, the International Committee of Red Cross (ICRC) in Lebanon has worked in close partnership with the Lebanese Ministry of Public Health (MoPH), Lebanese Syndicate of Prosthetics and Orthotics and University of Balamand, with the support of the Rehabskills Limited team, to complete a Benchmark Statement on the Prosthetics and Orthotics Sector in Lebanon (English version).
 
The Benchmark Statement aims at comparing the situation in Lebanon with the World Health Organization (WHO) Standards for Prosthetics and Orthotics as well as making recommendations for its improvement. Consequently, the Benchmark Statement provides a strong foundation that will enable the upgrade of this sector therefore, leading to the establishment of a national strategy for 2030 and regulation of the profession. The Statement covers four main areas of the health system (also known as the four “Ps”): Policy; Products; Personnel and Provision of services. The vision, mission and aims of each ‘P’ will be incorporated into training and mentoring packages that will enable the stakeholders to take ownership and work towards ensuring the sustainability and continuation of the Prosthetics and Orthotics Sector in Lebanon.
 
In April 2021, the ICRC and project partners organized, in collaboration with the Disability Hub, the first online webinar focusing on the Policy area in order to reinforce the visibility and promote the dissemination of the project. The webinar successfully attracted a big number of participants, at a time when health services and systems were and still are severely disrupted in the country due to the Beirut blast, the Covid pandemic, and of course the deteriorating economic situation and political deadlock.



Throughout this year and in 2022, other related online webinars will be organized by the ICRC and project partners to enable the stakeholders to take ownership and work towards ensuring the sustainability and continuation of the Prosthetics and Orthotics Sector in Lebanon.
 
Despite all the difficulties and challenges, Lebanon has taken the first steps on the path of aligning itself with the relevant WHO standards by undertaking this benchmarking process thus, highlighting  its commitment to working towards transforming and improving the provision of prosthetic and orthotic services in the country.
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