CCBRT's Head of Prosthetics and Orthotics with a member of her team fitting a young boy with prosthetic leg.
An eleven-year partnership with the Comprehensive Community Based Rehabilitation in Tanzania (CCBRT) Hospital and the ICRC came to a successful and sustainable closure by end 2022.
The ICRC's Physical Rehabilitation Program (PRP) in Tanzania is gradually phasing out after more than a decade of directly serving Persons with Disabilities in Tanzania. The system-strengthening component of the program already wound down in 2021 after the successful launch of the National Rehabilitation Strategic Plan (2021-2026) developed by the Ministry of Health, Community Development, Gender, Elderly and Children (MOHCDGEC).
In logical continuation of the phase out, the ICRC handed over the supported physical rehabilitation service provision and workshops to CCBRT early in 2023. This 11-year partnership (2011-2022) with CCBRT ended with significant and visible achievements:
- The CCBRT and ICRC worked together to support MOHCDGEC to develop the national rehabilitation strategy which CCBRT will continue to implement and monitor in the country.
- The MOHCDGEC has already created a Rehabilitation Department within the ministry to help implement and monitor the strategic plan, which is one of the best achievements so far.
- ICRC and CCBRT's collaboration provided physical rehabilitation services to 17'347 persons with physical disabilities which include the provision of 606 Prostheses, 8'773 Orthoses, 919 Walking Aids and 1'112 wheelchairs apart from physiotherapy services.
- Infrastructure development for CCBRT including developing a training unit, a physiotherapy department, and an advanced gait training area.
- Supply of PP (polypropylene) materials and components (used in the making of prosthesis), reimbursement of the cost of services to most vulnerable persons with disabilities.
- The collaboration also supported technological advancement such as 3D printing. 68 service users received below-knee prostheses using 3D printing technology in Kigoma Refugee Camps.
- Professional development through sponsorship of short courses, on-the-job training, and support to attend international policy conferences for senior staff.
A 5-year evaluation carried out in 2022 showed steady growth in the quality of services and the CCBRT emerging as the best Rehabilitation Service Provider in the country and one of the best in the regions following international standards in the quality of rehabilitation services. The quality of services is evaluated through service users' feedback on accessibility, quality, and socio-economic impact along with a technical assessment on annual basis.
Our support to the Tanzania Training Centre for Orthopedic Technologists (TATCOT) will continue in 2023. TATCOT hosts training for rehabilitation professionals from ICRC Physical Rehabilitation Programs across the world and currently accommodates 4 ICRC-sponsored students from Somalia and Nigeria pursuing diploma and certificate-level programs. In 2022, ICRC sponsored technicians' attendance from supported PRP projects in Zambia, Rwanda, Iraq, Somaliland, Nigeria, Colombia, Yemen, and Myanmar.