Following the successful launch of the National List of Essential Assistive Products (NLEAP) in September 2023, the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR), in partnership with the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), organized a National Conference on Sustainable Provision of Assistive Technology (NConSPAT-23) on 1st and 2nd November 2023 at the ICMR conference hall in New Delhi. As part of the event, the ICMR Director General (who is also the Secretary to the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare), the Secretary of the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment (MoSJ&E), and the ICRC Head of Regional Delegation addressed the audience. ICMR announced that the event would be held every year and also stated that the initiative and idea were originated by the ICRC, which was a remarkable accomplishment. In his address, Kedir Awol Omar, Head of the Regional Delegation for India, Nepal, Bhutan and the Maldives, explained the event’s significance and the ICRC’s role in assistive technology. The conference comprised eight panel discussions.

The event was attended by more than 80 high-profile participants, including directors and managers from government and private institutions and manufacturing companies, ministries of health, social justice, external affairs, and education, as well as academicians and service users. The event’s significance was to reinforce the position of ICRC towards the authority (strategic perspective) and to include more rehab professionals in discussions on assistive technology in the country (technical aspects). Based on the panel discussions, a white paper with recommendations and action plans would be developed, which would be implemented through a series of working groups.


Following this conference, the ICMR will lead another round of focused group discussions to discuss implementing the recommendations in 2024.

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