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19.03.2008 Health

US team offers therapy to physically challenged children

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Eighteen senior students and three lecturers from the University of Southern California, USA, have ended a ten-day occupational therapy programme at the Mephibosheth Training Centre, a school for physically and mentally challenged children at Gomoa Ankamu.

During the programme the students, led by Mrs. Bonnie Nakasuji, Head, Clinical Instructor, Southern California University, took the children through improved hand writing skills, self-feeding, self-dressing and speech therapy.

She said they decided to offer the free therapy to the children because instructors for these programmes were not common in Africa.

She explained that occupational therapy was a rehabilitation service that focused on helping people with disabilities remain as functional as possible in daily occupation, which included activities of daily living.

Sixteen students from the Rehabilitation Department of the University of Education, Winneba, who also participated in the programme took advantage and learned from their counterparts from the USA.

According to Mrs Nakasuji the UEW students learned how a physically challenged child could work on increasing their strengths or find motor skills by setting up play activities and engaging them in a certain way that required them to use their specific weak muscles.

She appealed to the Director of the Mephibosheth Training Center and his Deputy, Mrs Andrea Jehu Appiah, who is a Physiotherapist to work hard towards expanding the collaboration among the two universities and the centre.

Mr. John Majisi, Technical Adviser, Rehabilitation Department, UEW, said the experience gained from their colleagues at the Centre provided practical experience on the usefulness of assisted devices to enhance independent living of the physically challenge child.

Pastor Joseph Jehu Appiah thanked the lecturers and students for their support.

He appealed to other Institutions who have other means of helping the children to do so.

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