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Conclusion of the 5-year project “Access to physical, medicine and rehabilitation services in Albania“

The five years project (2006 - 2011)“Access to Physical and Medicine and rehabilitation services in Albania” implemented by Handicap International (HI) has been carried out under the responsibility and in close cooperation with the Ministry of Health, the Albanian Mine Action Executive (AMAE) and the Nursery Faculty of Tirana University .
Accomplishments of the project were:
  • National PMR strategy and action plan were adopted in 2007.
  • Increased awareness of Ministry of Health and other sectors in the Albanian health system was achieved.
  • New PMR services in the public health system have been created, for example in Korca and Kukes.
  • 18 doctors from different regions of Albania have completed a one year continuous education course in PMR.
  • Physiotherapy regulations and scope of practice have been defined and validated by the Ministry of Health.
  • A three years physiotherapy Bachelor program (with a coordinator and small team of teachers) has been established in the Nursery Faculty.
  • 3 generations of physiotherapy students (70 students) have graduated; among them 20‐25 have found employment in public or private sector.
  • Five newly graduated students obtained sufficient capacity to teach in the Faculty.
  • Kukes regional hospital now has a small but well functioning PMR unit that provides physiotherapy and P&O services.
After the implementation of a five year PMR project of HI in Albania, important accomplishments have been made and the overall results can be considered satisfactory. The development of services and national capacities will allow Albanian stakeholders to continue with the process. The project results have had a sustainable impact of introducing crucial steps in the development process of comprehensive system of PMR services in Albania.
The final 15‐month phase was designed to consolidate the achieved results and has taken into consideration two important disparities still present in the country: the shortage of specialized personnel and the shortage of available services.
Donors for the project were the Office of Weapons Removal and Abatement in the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Political-Military Affairs  and Handicap International through International Trust Fund for Demining and Mine Victims Assistance.