Subregional multicountry workshop on strengthening of assistive technology procurement in countries

19–20 November 2019, Geneva, Switzerland

Access to assistive technology is a key factor in improving health outcomes and safeguarding social inclusion. Assistive technology refers to the systems and services used to deliver assistive products that maintain and improve a person’s function and independence – such as eyeglasses, hearing aids, wheelchairs, pill organizers, augmentative communication devices, and incontinence products. Everyone can benefit from using assistive products, particularly older people, or people living with disabilities or chronic conditions.

Globally, over 1 billion people need 1 or more assistive products, yet more than 900 million people do not have access to the life-changing products they require to lead dignified and inclusive lives. Supply and demand for assistive products and services are limited by numerous barriers such as stigma, insufficient capacity, inadequate resources, scarce financing and lack of awareness of the need for assistive products. In addition, many countries do not have sufficient technical expertise on assistive technology. As a result, procurement of assistive products and service is conducted on an ad-hoc basis and is not always guided by adequate technical specifications or international/regional/national standards, leading to the procurement of inappropriate, substandard products.

WHO in collaboration with the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), the Clinton Health Access Initiative and the Global Disability Innovation Hub, with financial support from the United Kingdom’s Department for International Development (DFID) is organizing a multicountry workshop to strengthen procurement of appropriate and quality assistive products. For more details contact