Content » Vol 47, Issue 8

Special report

Rehabilitation in Madagascar: Challenges in implementing the World Health Organization Disability Action Plan

Fary Khan, Bhasker Amatya, Hasheem Mannan , Frederick M. Burkle, Mary P. Galea
Department of Rehabilitation Medicine, Royal, Melbourne Hospital, 34-54 Poplar Road, Parkville, Melbourne VIC 3052, Australia. E-mail:
DOI: 10.2340/16501977-1995


Objective: To provide an update on rehabilitation in Madagascar by using local knowledge to outline the potential barriers and facilitators for implementation of the World Health Organization (WHO) Disability Action Plan (DAP).
Methods: A 14-day extensive workshop programme (September–October 2014) was held at the University Hospital Antananarivo and Antsirabe, with the Department of Health Madagascar, by rehabilitation staff from Royal Melbourne Hospital, Australia. Attendees were rehabilitation professionals (n=29) from 3 main rehabilitation facilities in Madagascar, who identified various challenges faced in service provision, education and attitudes/approaches to people with disabilities. Their responses and suggested barriers/facilitators were recorded following consensus agreement, using objectives listed in the DAP.
Results: The barriers and facilitators outlined by participants in implementing the DAP objectives include: engagement of health professionals and institutions using a multi-sectoral approach, new partnerships, strategic collaboration, provision of technical assistance, future policy directions, and research and development. Other challenges for many basic policies included: access to rehabilitation services, geographical coverage, shortage of skilled work-force, limited info-technology systems; lack of care-models and facility/staff accreditation standards; limited health services infrastructure and “disconnect” between acute and community-based rehabilitation.
Conclusion: The DAP summary actions were useful planning tools to improve access, strengthen rehabilitation services and community-based rehabilitation, and collate data for outcome research.

Lay Abstract


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