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    An overview of assistive technology products and services provided in Malawi

    Smith, Emma M. and Ebuenyi, Ikenna and Kafumba, Juba and Jamali-Phiri, Monica and MacLachlan, Malcolm and Munthali, Alister C. (2021) An overview of assistive technology products and services provided in Malawi. Disability and Rehabilitation: Assistive Technology. ISSN 1748-3107

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    Background: Assistive technology is the products and services used by individuals with functional limitations to enable participation in society and realisation of rights afforded by the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. The Assistive Product List is a comprehensive list of products identified as essential for access through universal health coverage. Key stakeholders, including organisations of persons with disabilities, civil service organisations, academic organisations and government ministries are collaborating to integrate assistive technology into policy and develop a priority assistive products list for Malawi. Objective: To understand the organisational characteristics of, and assistive products provided by, key stakeholders working in AT in Malawi. Study Design: Online survey of representatives from key stakeholder organisations. Methods: We surveyed representatives of key stakeholder organisations to gather information regarding assistive technology product and service provision in Malawi. Responses were analysed using counts for closed-ended questions, and conventional content analysis for open-ended questions. Results: A total of 36 of the 50 APL products were provided by eight organisations. Related services were provided for 36 of the 50 APL products by twelve organisations. Five organisations reported providing both products and services. Products and services are largely funded by donation and provided free to those who require them. Conclusion: A range of organisations in Malawi play a role in assistive product delivery and related services. Coordinated AP delivery and service provision is required at a national level which is sustainable and inclusive, and is based on identified needs of the Malawian population. Implications for rehabilitation: *Policies supporting assistive product and service provision must acknowledge the contextual needs of the communities where they are implemented. * Coordination is required for assistive product and service provision at the national and subnational level. * Existing and potential gaps in service provision must be addressed when implementing a national assistive products list.

    Item Type: Article
    Additional Information: © 2020 The Author(s). Published by Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives License (, which permits non-commercial re-use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited, and is not altered, transformed, or built upon in any way. Cite as: : Emma M. Smith , Ikenna D. Ebuenyi , Juba Kafumba , Monica Jamali-Phiri , Malcolm MacLachlan & Alister Munthali (2020): An overview of assistive technology products and services provided in Malawi, Disability and Rehabilitation: Assistive Technology, DOI: 10.1080/17483107.2020.1854356
    Keywords: Assistive technology; selfhelp devices; MESH; Malawi; assistive products; service provision;
    Academic Unit: Assisting Living & Learning,ALL institute
    Faculty of Science and Engineering > Psychology
    Item ID: 15046
    Identification Number:
    Depositing User: Malcolm MacLachlan
    Date Deposited: 19 Nov 2021 17:09
    Journal or Publication Title: Disability and Rehabilitation: Assistive Technology
    Publisher: Taylor & Francis
    Refereed: Yes
    Use Licence: This item is available under a Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial Share Alike Licence (CC BY-NC-SA). Details of this licence are available here

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