Dr. Nassib Tawa founder and lead researcher at the Centre for Research in Spinal Health and Rehabilitation Sciences, College of Health Sciences in Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology (JKUAT) has been appointed to the World Health Organization (WHO) Regional Office for Africa as a Rehabilitation Consultant.
This came at a time when many countries are not equipped to respond to existing rehabilitation needs and as a result, numerous individuals do not have access to the services, leading to an exacerbation of their condition, further complications and lifelong repercussions.
To support progress in countries towards achieving the goals of the 2030 initiative, WHO came up with a strategy of having regional rehabilitation officers from different continents starting with Africa.
Dr Tawa who joins a technical team of experts in the Violence, Injuries and Disability (VID) clustered within the Department of Universal Health Coverage and Healthier Populations (UHP), has been appointed courtesy of his technical competencies in the field of implementation research and health systems strengthening for rehabilitation.
Dr Tawa has not only been instrumental in providing technical support to the rehabilitative services unit at the Ministry of Health (MoH), but also the Perfusion Index (PI) for the rapid assistive technology (rATA) national survey, playing a key role in the planned WHO-MoH project to establish the National Assistive Technology Center of Excellence at JKUAT.
As the lead WHO rehabilitation consultant for Africa, Dr. Tawa’s role will be to guide Ministries of Health in the region on how best to work towards achieving the WHO Rehabilitation 2030 goal and to guide WHO Africa on priority countries and activities for support.
This will be through providing technical support and guidance about implementation of WHO rehabilitation programs/activities and resource packages, to rehabilitate focal persons in the Ministries of Health/government agencies within members states, as well as WHO country officers responsible for the rehabilitation and other key stakeholders.
According to the World Health Organization’s Rehabilitation 2030 initiative that was launched in February 2017, ageing populations and a global increase in the number of people living with chronic disease, rehabilitation is a priority health strategy for the 21st century that uniquely contributes to optimizing the functioning of the population.
So far, WHO has supported over 20 countries across all world regions to strengthen their health systems to better provide rehabilitation services.