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ICRC MoveAbility - Developing the physical rehabilitation sector

Project leader

ICRC MoveAbility

Location Madagascar
Dates 01/01/2017 31/12/2021
Intervention Area Health
Funding 250 000,00 €


In the Human Development Index, Madagascar is ranked 158th out of the 188 countries listed. Madagascar is one of the world’s poorest countries. According to the World Bank, the GDP per capita is USD 420 per year and 90% of the population lives below the poverty line. The country’s health outcomes are also some of the weakest, which is why the Department of International Cooperation signed a cooperation agreement with the Malagasy Ministry of Health in 2016. In the field of physical rehabilitation, WHO estimates that around 640,000 people with disabilities require specialist treatment in Madagascar. The country’s existing physical rehabilitation centres do not have sufficient funds and qualified healthcare professionals are difficult to find.

In 2015, Madagascar ratified the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and the national technical committees are currently developing national plans for physical rehabilitation services and social inclusion for people with disabilities. In its Strategic Health Plan 2015–2019, the Malagasy Ministry of Health decided to step up its efforts to help people with disabilities.

Support for people with disabilities is a flagship programme of Monaco’s Official Development Assistance Program. Monaco has been cooperating with the ICRC Special Fund for the Disabled in Mali for several years, and with the organisation in Madagascar since 2016. In 2017, the ICRC decided to merge the Fund with the MoveAbility Foundation, which it established in 2001. The Swiss foundation has had a presence in Madagascar since 2006 and in 2014 signed a cooperation agreement with the Malagasy Ministry of Health aimed at strengthening existing physical rehabilitation capacity, expanding access and ensuring the quality and sustainability of these services while making sure that people with disabilities are able to achieve socio-economic integration. MoveAbility is also contributing to the preparation of the National Strategic Plan for the Development of Physical and Functional Rehabilitation, 2017–2021. Some of the training activities will be delivered by the Monaco Red Cross.

The project is in line with Monaco’s strategy for development assistance in Madagascar, while also contributing to the implementation of SDGs 1 "End poverty in all its forms everywhere", 3 "Ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages" and 10 "Reduce income inequality within and among countries", as well as WHO’s Rehabilitation 2030 initiative, which seeks to integrate rehabilitation within the healthcare system.

Overall objective

Allow people with physical disabilities to develop their full potential in an inclusive society in Madagascar.

Specific objectives

  • Improve the organisation and sustainability of the national physical rehabilitation sector in Madagascar
  • Improve the knowledge and skills of physical rehabilitation professionals in Madagascar
  • Provide a quality service for physical rehabilitation teams
  • Provide access to social inclusion services and activities for people with disabilities


Direct beneficiaries:

  • 24,700 disabled and economically vulnerable individuals will receive services via the centres supported
  • 4 centres supported
  • Around 40 physical rehabilitation professionals; 50 professional physiotherapist members
  • 25 disabled athletes supplied with equipment and 5 university associations supported
  • Managers at the Malagasy Ministry of Health: 48 member coaches and advisors
  • 5 research projects
  • Representatives of the Madagascar Red Cross


Indirect beneficiaries:

  • 98,800 families of people with disabilities

Anticipated outcomes

  • A strategic plan is adopted by the national authorities, and the appropriate human and financial resources are allocated
  • As part of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, a policy platform for physical rehabilitation made up of various professional stakeholders is operational to raise awareness among decision-makers regarding all disability issues
  • The national database and statistics (mapping) regarding rehabilitation services and needs are published and analysed by the national authorities
  • Students have access to grants to pursue academic training and become certified professionals
  • Students have access to quality clinical internships organised by orthopaedic schools in reference centres
  • Orthopaedic technicians, physiotherapists and other professionals have improved their skills (management, rehabilitation and governance skills at the Ministry of Health through short training courses provided by schools (and/or other training organisation)
  • Quality assessment tools are in place and results are monitored
  • A multidisciplinary approach including physiotherapy becomes a standard part of the procedure used by the collaborating service supplier