July 3, 2017

The Royal Melbourne Hospital Department of Rehabilitation Flying Faculty

The Department of Rehabilitation Medicine (DoRM), Royal Melbourne Hospital (RMH) recognises that building and strengthening rehabilitation capacity through education and training in the Low- and Middle-Income countries (LMICs) is of paramount importance in developing a skilled work-force, improving  service provision and awareness of rehabilitation.

The RMH DoRM Flying Faculty was established 3 years ago to supplement existing educational programmes at RMH that hosted visiting rehabilitation physicians from LMICs. The Flying Faculty is a voluntary interdisciplinary workforce, comprises team members from various ethnic backgrounds, culturally sensitive and can communicate effectively in local language of the host country. The Flying Faculty visits the LMICs, upon invitation from relevant Departments of Health, Universities and tertiary hospitals, as independent experts to run organized intensive rehabilitation educational workshop and capacity building programmes tailored to host requirements.

Over the years, the Flying Faculty has 12 members, comprises RMH interdisciplinary staff willing and able to teach in various educational and capacity building programmes in the developing world in hospital and in ambulatory settings to a diverse group of health professionals. These include activities in: Madagascar (2014), Nepal (2015), Mongolia (2016), Nigeria (2017) and Morocco (2017), Pakistan (2003-17).

On these missions, DoRM funds staff teams and provides intensive training programmes (3-5 days) in Rehabilitation Medicine for up to 200 rehabilitation personnel at a time. These include intensive lecture programme and interactive workshops, supplemented with clinical reasoning hands-on clinical workshops with patients; leadership and managerial skill development exercises and research capacity- building forums. The trainees learn skills required for developing and implementing rehabilitation services in the local context. The learning is both ways and the Faculty members learn more about issues and challenges faced by these countries. Another key activity during these programmes include conducting a one-day consensus workshop based on the objectives listed in the World Health Organization (WHO) Global Disability Action Plan 2014-2021 (GDAP)  to identify potential challenges/barriers and strengths/facilitators within the existing healthcare system, corresponding with the established objectives listed in the GDAP. The outcomes of these visits have been published (listed below) and presented at various national and international meetings.

The Rehabilitation Flying Faculty receives many formal requests annually for assistance for capacity building at all levels and has expanded its collaborative programmes in a number of regional LMICs. Another objective of the Flying Faculty involves training and support for rehabilitation physicians in LMICs within the RMH department and to assist them in establishing the national societies. Under this programme the DoRM hosted Dr. Raju Dhakal (dr.rajupmr@gmail.com) – the only Rehabilitation Physician in Nepal in 2016  for training in operational setting-up of rehab services, documentation and outcome assessment processes and provided assistance in registering the Nepalese Academy of Physical and Rehabilitation Medicine.

Currently, DoRM is collaborating with Australian-Mongolian NGOs to assist Mongolian PM&R Physicians to visit Australia for further training (Dr. Byambasuren Enkhtur from First Mongolian University Ulaanbaatar enkhtur_byambasuren@yahoo.com).

References:

  • Khan F, Amatya B, Avirmed B, et al. WHO Global Disability Action Plan: the Mongolian Perspective. Journal of Rehabilitation 12 Feb 2017, doi: 10.2340/16501977-2207 (e-pub ahead of print),
  • Khan F, Amatya B, Sayed TM, et al. The World Health Organisation – Disability Action Plan 2014–2021: Challenges and Perspectives for Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation in Pakistan. Journal of Rehabilitation Medicine 2017; 49: 10–21.
  • Khan F, Amatya B, Mannan H, Burkle Jr FM, Galea MP. Rehabilitation in Madagascar: Challenges in implementing the WHO Disability Action Plan. Journal of Rehabilitation Medicine 2015;47(8):688-96.
  • Khan F, Owolabi MO, Amatya B et al, Challenges and barriers for implementation of the WHO Global Disability Action Plan in Low- and Middle- Income Countries. Journal of Rehabilitation Medicine 2017 (under review)

Pakistan 2015

Mongolia 2016

Nigeria 2017

 

Morocco 2017