Thursday, June 28, 2007

Questions & Comments...

Please feel free to post any general questions and comments here...

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

A Welcome to all OT's in Cairo....

This past month, we were finally able to have a get together for all the OT's living in Egypt. Joanne was missing as she just had a baby boy, so congratulations to her! Some of us have been living and working in Cairo for a few years and others are newcomers.

A few of us already knew each other and others were meeting for the first time. It was a nice chance to meet and get to know one another. We have a very international group of OT's living in Cairo, as we come from the US, UK, France, New Zealand, Australia, South Africa and Japan.

Picture: (back row) Emma, Emily, Pip, Sena, and Annalene; (front row) Karen, Sue, Laura, Miho and Dorothy.

The First Regional OT Conference in the Middle East

The First Regional OT Conference in the Middle East was held 27th to 29th April 2007 under the auspices of HE Mrs. Suzanne Mubarak First Lady of Egypt.

(Picture: Jordanian, American, Canadian, Japanese and Lebanese trained Occupational Therapists working in the region).

The conference was organized by members of The Committee for Developing Occupational Therapy in Egypt. Sponsors of the conference were Ain Shams University, October 6th University and ADVANCE Society.

The purpose of the conference was to (a) raise awareness in regards to occupational therapy and it's role within programs for individuals with special needs, (b) educate people as to the independence of occupational therapy as a health profession, (c) promote the concept of rights of persons with special needs to access rehabilitative specialties that would help them upgrade their skills and reach their full potential, (d) support the government’s policy of supporting persons with special needs within the community, (e) provide a forum for regional OT's to meet and discuss needs of the region.

(Picture: Farah, Doha, Sawsan, & Fatima)

Lectures and workshops were conducted by WFOT Executive Committee members, as well as, several OT's working in Egypt and/or visiting Egypt.

Topics & Lecturers:

Occupational therapy a global perspective - Kit Sinclair
Occupational therapy around the world - Executive Management Team (EMT)
OT Education – overview of current trends - Alfred Ramukumba & Sharon Brintnell
OT: Aged Care & Geriatrics – introduction - Anne Carswell
Occupational Science – an introduction - Kit Sinclair
OT: Families and Children – introduction - Julie Piergrossi and Susan Hartshorne
OT: Mental health and Psychiatry – introduction - Alfred Ramukumba & Lena Haglun
OT: Adult Rehabilitation – introduction - Sharon Brintnell
OT: School aged children – introduction Laura Efinger

(Picture: OT's working in Africa)

OT: Mental Health and Psychiatry – panel discussion - Alfred Ramukumba, Samantha Shann , Julie Piergrossi, Lena Haglund
OT: Adult Rehabilitation – panel discussion - Sharon Brintnell , Marilyn Pattison , Susan Hartshorne and Dorothy Witt
OT: Work Rehabilitation and vocational training – introduction - Marilyn Pattison
OT: Feeding workshop - Kimberly Weigle
OT: Work Rehabilitation & vocational training – panel discussion - Marilyn, Sharon Brintnell, Lena Haglund, Samantha Shann
OT: Seating workshop - Dorothy Witt
OT: Children and mental health - Julie Piergrossi
Plenary session: Minimum Standards and the PEO model - Kit Sinclair
OT Education – panel discussion - Alfred Ramukumba, Sharon Brintnell , Samantha Shann

(Picture: Emma, Joanne, Laura & Gloria...OT's living in Egypt)

OT Assessment and treatment planning: – Anne Carswell, Lena Haglund
OT: Play workshop I - Julie Piergrossi and Susan Hartshorne
OT Education – challenges in the region - Alfred Ramukumba, Kit Sinclair
Healthy ageing and occupational therapy - Anne Carswell
OT: Play workshop II - Julie Piergrossi and Susan Hartshorne
Q & A and summary - Kit Sinclair

(Picture: WFOT Executive Committee Members & OT's attending the conference)

This conference was a great opportunity for OT's living and working in the region to network. Hopefully, we can build on these new connections and further promote the development of OT in the region.


Friday, June 15, 2007

Why should OT's visit and/or work in Egypt?

Well, besides the immense historical and cultural experience, it is a great opportunity to provide a service in a country lacking with resources for individuals with special needs.

It is an opportunity to train local residents, so they can provide services within their own country. It is also an opportunity to provide treatment for individuals, who otherwise would not receive the benefit of OT services.

If it is just a visit you are planning to Egypt, then please contact me ( and plan to meet other OT's in our Egypt network.

Thursday, June 14, 2007

CDOT Newsletter # 11 (July 2007)

Committee for the Development of Occupational Therapy in Egypt
July 07

July 20th, 2007

Dear Friends,

The first half of this year went very promising for our project. Our project is moving and is creating international attention. Your will find information about the WFOT Executive Meeting and the first Regional OT Conference in the Middle East which took place in Cairo. Please refer to Attached you find more detailed information on the Regional conference.

Greetings from sunny Zurich

Christiane Mentrup

2007 WFOT Interim Executive Meeting
The WFOT Executive Team met in April 2007 in Cairo for the annual meeting. The nine WFOT Executive members enjoyed the famous Egyptian hospitality.

First Regional Occupational Therapy Conference

The First Regional Occupational Therapy conference held in Cairo at the end of April was a good time for occupational therapists working in the region and in Egypt to meet each other and to form communication networks that we hope will lead to positive communications for the future.

Mustafa Ahmad, the President of the Jordanian Occupational Therapy Association, collected names of interested qualified occupational therapists living and working in the region following a regional meeting hosted by WFOT. Hopefully this network will be a way of staying in touch, promoting professional development events, linking in with employment prospects and assisting newly arrived/graduated occupational therapists.

There were 11 OT's (American, Canadian, British, Australian, French, South African and Japanese) residing in Cairo and now there are 12 as one just moved here from New Zealand. We hope to have regular gatherings to discuss OT related issues. If you are an occupational therapist living in Egypt and would like to meet others, please contact Laura Efinger at for details.

Laura Efinger and Susan Hartshorne

Abbassiya Hospital
Ward 18
Cindy Hahn, Professor of Occupational Therapy at A. T. Still University, Mesa, Arizona, USA will be bringing a small group of students to Cairo in August. They will be visiting from August 16th to 23rd. The group will be bringing along many supplies gathered and donated by the students for patients at Abbassiya Hospital, Ward 18; the Learning Resource Centre; and the Advance School. While visiting Cairo the group expects to spend some time working at the hospital with staff and patients. They also hope to have time to interact with medical students from Ain-Shams University, under the direction of Dr. Abdelmoneim Ashour, to learn more about healthcare in Egypt and to offer information about their occupational therapy practice. They would also welcome any other interaction opportunities during their stay. You can contact Cindy Hahn at or

Ain Shams University and 6th of October UniversityBoth universities are planning to start an OT bachelor degree programme in September 2007, once they have final approval from the Ministry of Higher Education.

CDOT Newsletter #10 (March 2007)

March 7th, 2007

Dear Friends,

The new year just started and already we have lots of news to report from our project. The organising group is very busy to prepare for the upcoming visit of the WFOT Executive in April. We expect great things to happen…

Greetings from Zurich

Christiane Mentrup

2007 WFOT Interim Executive Meeting
In April the WFOT Executive will hold their Interim Executive Meeting in Cairo at the Nasser Institute. In addition to its internal meeting the WFOT Executive will also have an official visit and meeting schedule and we hope that this will add to the growing impetus behind the development of education programs for the profession here.

Regional Occupational Therapy Conference
In April 27 and 28, 2007 a one and a half day conference will be held, including presentations from the WFOT management team members. Nine eminent international OT leaders will address areas of practice, service delivery and theory. The conference will be held under the auspices of Her Excellency the First Lady in cooperation with his Excellency the Minister of Health and is co-sponsored by the Ain Shams University and October 6 University. It is an opportunity for participating in a professional forum that can not be missed.
The organizing committee hopes to cater to the needs of occupational therapists in the region and those occupational therapists and non-occupational therapists interested in the development of occupational therapy services and education in Egypt.
To better meet this objective, please reply to this notice and let us know if you are interested in attending and which of the following topics would interest you. Please identify your three most appealing priorities from the list below:

1. Mental Health and Psychiatry
2. Work rehabilitation and vocational habilitation
3. Children with special needs and working with families
4. Geriatrics and aged care
5. Adult rehabilitation
6. Occupational therapy education

We look forward to hearing from you and encourage you to tell others. Come and celebrate with us the promotion of the occupational therapy profession.
Once we have heard from you we will send out a more detailed program with information..
Email your reply to :
The registration fee will be 100 LE for Egyptian Nationals and US$100 for other participants.
In the near future the registration form will be available in hard copy and online at the WFOT website

Mrs Susan Hartshorne
WFOT Ambassador to the Egypt Project
World Federation of Occupational Therapists

After an initial contact some years ago we received the following message from a Canadian colleague:

“My name is Gloria Dueck. I am an Occupational Therapist from Canadacurrently working as a volunteer with an NGO in Ezbet El Nakhl, Cairo. I have been in Egypt for the past 3 years. I work in a centre forchildren ages 5 - 20 with a variety of disabilities. My main work at this centre is to provide training for the teachers on how they are better able to work with children with disabilities. I have held workshops on a variety of topics including development of children, sensory issues, Occupational Therapy theory, autism, etc. My term in Egypt is coming to an end and so my current goal is to leave behind a variety of materials that can continue to be used in training teachers at the centre.”

Gloria, it is good to hear from you again and we hope we can count on your support for our project in the future – even if you are about to leave the country.

Abbassiya Hospital
Ward 18
Professor Moneim Ashour reports about major improvements at ward 18 of Abbassiya Hospital. In addition to nutrition and drug treatment the occupational therapy related interventions are seen as the third relevant treatment aspect. The new concept is the result of international occupational therapists who visited the ward during the last years. Among several others it was Gillian Barrett who devoted lots of time and effort when evaluating functional abilities among the elderly clients and the quality of the environment. The results let to a range of interventions to upgrade the physical context to enable and stimulate the clients to do a range of activities. The changes were possible because of a generous financial contribution through the Cairo Rotary Club.

These changes led to a new focus within the Abbassiya Hospital, where now old age psychiatry and the newly evolving concepts in dementia care play a major role in interventions. A new day hospital for psychiatrically ill senior citizen is planed.

Professor Ashour reports that elderly people are now being welcomed at the Abbassiya Hospital like never before.

The Egyptian Society for Developing Skills of Children with Special Needs, "ADVANCE", is a registered NGO with the Egyptian Ministry of Social Affairs, under No. 4646/99, and was founded in the year 1998 by a small group of dedicated parents and families of children with special needs.

The Learning Resource Center provides services to children of all ages who are experiencing learning and/or behavioural problems. LRC provides consultation for parents and schools, evaluation, therapy, parent education, and training. LRC staff represents a variety of disciplines including physicians, psychologists, occupational and physical therapists, speech & language pathologists; and educational specialists.

ADVANCE organizes an annual educational conference with the Learning Resource Center with the aim of up-dating the teachers' and specialist knowledge, creating awareness, sharing expertise, and disseminating information about the latest state-of-the-art interventions in the field of education, with an emphasis on special education.

Jointly, we have held very successful annual educational conferences in the spring for the last six years, and they were all hosted by the British International School in Cairo (BISC), and four of them were sponsored by UNESCO.

The conferences were entitled:
"Living & Learning" – 2001
“Interventions That Work” – 2002
"Merging Efforts" – 2003
"Circle of Inclusion" – 2004
"Embracing Diversity" – 2005
"Learning to Learn " – 2006
This year we are holding our conference the week-end of the 22nd to 24th of March 2007, and it will be once again hosted by the British International School in Cairo (BISC). The conference this year is entitled: "Making a Difference."

Please do not hesitate to call Mr. Yasser Salah, Conference Organizer, for any clarifications, at (+202) 516 3965 or 67.

Maha Helali

CDOT Newsletter #9

CDOT Newsletter #8

(Right click, save and open)

CDOT Newsletter #7 (October 2006)

October 15th, 2006

Dear Friends,

The summer is over and our friends in Egypt are celebrating the Ramadan festivities.
In July WFOT had three major events in Australia. It started of with the annual Executive Meeting in Melbourne, the Council Meeting in Newcastle followed and as a highlight in the end the WFOT Congress attracted many professional visitors to Sydney.
The elections during our council meeting resulted in a change of my position. I am no longer the WFOT Vice President but together with Madeleine will continue to be co-leader of the WFOT Egypt Project and the WFOT Mongolia Project.

The new Vice President is Dr. Anne Carswell, a very dear and capable colleague from Canada who will support us in our efforts. Congratulations to Dr. Carswell to her new position!

Greetings from Zurich

Christiane Mentrup
Head of Institute for Occupational Therapy
Zurich University of Applied Science Winterthur

After the WFOT events in July 2006 in Australia Sharon Brintnell, the Vice President Finance took the opportunity to visit Cairo and to meet up with several dignitaries and project members.
The Ain Shams University as well as the 6 of October University in a mutual effort invited the World Federation to hold its next Executive Team Meeting in Cairo. The invitation was graciously accepted by the WFOT Team and the members are looking forward to a meeting with the Egyptian partners in April 2007.

Congratulations to all members of the Egypt Project Team. Well done!

There will be lots of work lying ahead to prepare for 9 WFOT representatives to come to Cairo and to meet there for a full week. It will give the WFOT officers an opportunity to support the Egypt Project by meeting up with relevant persons in the political, educational and health care field and by presenting papers or leading workshops.

Abbassiya Hospital
The occupational therapist Gillian Barrett generously offered an OT assessment for the geriatric client group at the Abbassiya Hospital in Cairo. After a meeting with the medical staff she reported her results to Professor Ashour. Gillian pointed out that that she was amazed by the high level of motivation among the personell and the warmth they showed towards their patients (clients). She was concerned about the lack of interaction among clients and some problems within the environment. She recommends some environmental changes and activities for the clients based on a general screening and individual assessments.
Following individual discussion with clients, four of them have been referred to the rehabilitation department to participate in specific groups. There are still a significant number of patients to be interviewed, but this is an ongoing activity which will take some time to complete.
Forms have been devised (translated from forms used elsewhere in the hospital) to record both the aims/objectives and the individual patient observations for each of the groups to be initiated.

Regular short walks have commenced for a large group of patients (between 20-30 each time) and two specific weekly walking groups have also started for 4-6 patients each time. These groups are more specifically focused at increasing sensory stimuli, promoting interpersonal contact and providing an opportunity for staff to discuss patients personal background and interests.

An art group has been commenced on the ward. Although numbers to attend are currently very low, it is hoped that further patients who wish to attend will be identified.
Work is ongoing regarding the arrangements for the exercise groups.
A big “Thank you” to Gillian for all the work she invested. We are sure it will make a big
difference for the clients at Abbassiya Hospital.

Ain Shams University OT Curricula update:

Professor Ahmed Hassan, Associate Professor Ahmed El Kahky and Susan Hartshorne reported that progress is continuing with the development of two occupational therapy education programmes in Egypt. Both the undergraduate degree proposed by October 6 University and the post graduate diploma proposed by the Institute of Postgraduate Childhood Studies at Ain Shams University are based on the WFOT Revised Minimum Standards.

Approval from WFOT will be sought for each curriculum in the early stages of implementation. Approval will ensure that Egyptian occupational therapy services are staffed with occupational therapists who meet world standards in education and would enable Egyptian graduates to compete for positions internationally with graduates from other WFOT approved programs.
Thanks is given to all those colleagues who have offered their insights during the curriculum development process.

CDOT Newsletter #6 (May 2006)

Committee for the Development of Occupational Therapy in Egypt

May 20th, 2006

Dear Friends,

WFOT is getting ready for its next council meeting and congress in July in Australia. This gives us another chance to present the results of our project. Madeleine and I, in the name of all project members, will proudly do so. Let me take this as an opportunity to thank everybody who has committed time, energy and money to our cause of establishing OT education and practice in Egypt with the aim of supporting the people who are in need of our services. Greetings from Zurich Christiane Mentrup 2nd Vice President World Federation of Occupational Therapists (WFOT) CDOT Members

During the last months we received the following messages from a colleague in the US, another one in the UK and one living in Cairo: René Padilla writes: I have read with interest the newsletters posted on the WFOT web page regarding efforts in the development of occupational therapy in Egypt. I am in the early stages of planning a trip to Cairo, and wanted to put myself at the disposal of the CDOT in support of your efforts. I am an academician with over 20 years of practice and teaching experience. The development of occupational therapy in the Third World (especially Latin America) over the past years has become a particular interest, and have been consulting with rehabilitation programs in Ecuador and the Dominican Republic. The motive of my trip to Egypt is personal - I am interested in becoming acquainted with life perspectives of people in a Muslim country and, as able, with community development efforts under way in that part of the world. If during that process I can be of any service to the local efforts in developing occupational therapy, I would be delighted to make whatever humble contribution I can. A longer term desire would be to establish a cooperative partnership between Creighton University and/or other agencies with whom I have contact. I have not set dates for a trip in order to first explore any possibilities with you or with whom you might direct me to contact. Depending on the time of year, I could plan to remain in the region from two weeks to one month. If you or anyone would like more information on my background, I would be quite happy to provide you with my curriculum vitae. I will be very appreciative for any guidance you can provide. Best regards, René Padilla René Padilla, PhD, OTR/L, FAOTA Interim Associate Dean of Academic Affairs School of Pharmacy and Health Professions Creighton University 2500 California Plaza Omaha, NE 68178 Criss III Building, Room G74C Voice-Mail: (402) 280-5957 Fax: (402) 280-1148 E-mail:

We heard from Karen Evans: “I will moving to Cairo in August and will be looking for some work (paid - where at all possible).I work fulltime in the UK - I have just finished working as a clinical specialist OT in a hospital (with Head OT and clinical work - adult neurology/lymphoedema) and I have a private practice with another OT for paediatrics. I enjoy lecturing and am always marketing the role of OT. I have set up many OT services in Australia and the UK.I have worked in India and Malaysia also when my husband has been working in these countries. I have a master degree in community health (from Australia) and a diploma in OT (1986) from London, UK. I recently completed a post grad certificate in special educational needs (dyspraxia) through University of Wales. Best Wishes Karen Email:

In Newsletter 3 we introduced Gillian who had moved to Cairo in summer 2005 with the intention to live there for 4 years. She is interested to get involved, contacted some of our members but so far wasn’t able to actively contribute to the project. Please, write to Gillian if you need an OT to further your work. She could see herself doing some volunteer OT work app. 3 mornings a week. Gillian Barrett Email:

Rehab Dubai Congress Christiane Mentrup, WFOT 2nd Vice President, got the opportunity to present the Egypt Project at the Dubai Rehab Congress in February 2006 and did some local networking with colleagues and other professionals in the region. We hope that the occupational therapists in Dubai will reactivate their political involvement to support the establishment of OT in the Middle East. We are planning to set up a Dubai newsletter following the successful CDOT example.

Abbassiya Hospital Cindy Hahn reports that had planned to come to Cairo in August 2007 with two clinical experts and nine students to set up an exchange with Egyptian medical students for fieldwork experience at the Abbassiya Hospital. Due to a medical crisis they had to postphone to trip and will probably come to Egypt in March 2007. The frequent email exchange between both student groups has already been very fruitful.

Ain Shams University Ain Shams University continues to work with Susan Hartshorne from Australia on a curriculum and will report more in our next newsletter about Sue’s plans to return to Egypt in July 2006. 6. October University Professor Ahmed Hassan, President of The General Physical Therapy Syndicate of Egypt, reports that “A group of people which was formed in December 2005 is still working very hard creating a curriculum for the 6 of October University. Professor Naiema Hassan from the PT department of Cairo University and Professor of Ahmed Hassan are cooperating with Sue Hartshorne. The university is now in the process of advertising OT positions for Arabic speaking staff to continue the implementation of the course.” Alexandria University Dr Tarek Shafshak and Maha Helali participated at conference in Alexandia presenting papers on occupational therapy.

WFOT The World Federation of Occupational Therapists will have their next council meeting and congress in July 2006 in Australia. Members of the project group are thinking about inviting the WFOT Executive to hold its next meeting in Cairo in order to further support the project work.

CDOT Newsletter #5 (February 2006)

February 1st, 2006

Dear Friends,

With great sorrow the world heard about the ferry accident at the Red Sea. We are grieving with our friends in Egypt about all the casualties and feel with their families and friends.

A new year has started and Egypt is going through many political changes since Hosni Mobarak and his National Democratic Party won the elections end of December 2005 again. We hope that we will find strong support within the ministries of health and social affairs for our project.

For me the new year started with a change of work and home. I moved to Switzerland to be the head of a new occupational therapy education programme at a university of applied science. The email address stays the same, while the postal address and phone numbers have changed.

Please,send your next news by April 15th, 06 to my email address:

Greetings from a lovely sunny day in Zurich / Switzerland.

Christiane Mentrup
2nd Vice President
World Federation of Occupational Therapists (WFOT)
CDOT Members

As you know from our former newsletters Cindy Hahn, associate professor of occupational therapy at A. T. Still University in Mesa, Arizona, attended the World Congress for the World Federation for Mental Health in September in Cairo and heard about our project through the CDOT Newsletter. She took the opportunity to meet with CDOT members and will return to Cairo with six of her students in August 2006. I am sure that Cindy will use her time to further suppport the development of the profession in Egypt.

She writes: “We are in the beginning stages of creating this clinical experience for my students and are thrilled about the opportunity. Our plan is take 5-6 students and at least 2 other clinicians besides myself. We hope to have OT students paired with medical students in Cairo, to help educate each other and build new relationships. We may also have an opportunity offered by Maha Helali to have students involved with one of her August camps at the ADVANCE school.Our greatet desire is to support the development of OT in Egypt and to continue to build close and long lasting relationships with our friends there.

From Maha Helali we received the following information: “Dear Colleague, the Egyptian Society for Developing Skills of Children with Special Needs, "ADVANCE", held its annual educational conferences in the Spring for the last five years, and they were all hosted by the British International School in Cairo(BISC), and four of them were sponsored by UNESCO. The Conferences wereentitled:1. "Living & Learning: Building School Success" - 20012. “Interventions That Work”- 20023. "Merging Efforts" - 20034. "Circle of Inclusion" - 20045. "Embracing Diversity" - 2005This year we are planning to hold our conference the week-end of 9th to 11thMarch 2006, and it will be once again hosted by BISC and sponsored by UNESCO. The conference this year is entitled: "Learning to Learn …. from theory to practice".The conference will cover the following five streams:1. Managing Behavior (to enhance learning),2. Learning Strategies & Learning Skills in(a) Early years and (b) Older years 3. Learning styles (also covers classroom management or and/or classrooms' settings), 4. Tools serving education (includes IT, accommodations, architectural designing etc), 5. Learning for Life (includes social skills, life skills, adaptive PE, recreational skills).Please note that the deadline for abstracts was January 15th, but we would appreciate receiving your input at your earliest convenience.Best regards,Maha HelaliChairmanADVANCE Society
OT staff reports

The German occupational therapist Angelika Roschka reports from her work at the ADVANCE school in Cairo:
“Since September 2005 I am working halftime at ADVANCE school. The school hosts about 45 students with specials needs, especially autistc children. About 70 teachers and specialists do their best to serve the children's needs. Because my involvement in ADVANCE school is time limited ( 18 hours per week) my job responsibilities had to be choosen carefully and we had to set priorities. Doing just a halftime job over there allows me to do only a gross job. I have to set the limits all the time to be able to concentrate on my responsibilities which are the following:
1. OT implementantion with 2 staff from ADVANCE. I train them to do observations/ scrennings with the students, how plan a therapy process and how to do structured documentation. I supervise their work which mainly involves simple gross, fine motor and sensory activities and self help issues.
2. classroom, department & environmental observation at ADVANCE school to give recommendations to teachers and specialists about room structure/ playground design and how to create a calm learning supportive environment in a very tight building.
monthly seminars for teachres and specialists about general and specific OT topics, e.g. positioning, sensory integration, feeding, dressing, handwriting with handouts, role plays, follow up ( disscussions). Monthly seminars for the parents about OT topics that can be appiled at home, e.g. positioning, toy adaptation, sensory issues, feeding, dressing, toiletting.
My main goal at ADVANCE is to share knowledge and to document all my work with structure for the future. I spend a lot of time writing, writing, writing....
For the future at least one fulltime arabic speaking OT is urgently needed ( two would be better) to facilitate communication with the ADVANCE staff.
22 hours per week I am working at LRC. I am involved in student assessments, report writing, OT sessions (1:1), parent counselling. I have a tight schedule. Mostly I am serving kids with sensory needs, attentions problems, dyspraxia, handwriting problems. The work is satisfying when a good multidisciplinar exchange takes place with the LRC collegues and when the parents cooperate.

Overall the two jobs keep me very busy. The job combination forces my ability to switch from "one world to the other" very fast, because my functions as an OT are so different in ADVANCE and LRC.
It is a great energy taking challenge.
Best wishes Angelika“

The faculty of physical therapy at the Cairo University is announcing its 9th International Scientific Conference on the theme of:

"Physical Therapy is a Safe Cure"
2-3 March, 2006

Rehab Dubai Congress
From March 7th to 9th the Rehab Dubai will take place at the Dubai International Exhibition Place. The abstract of Maha Helali and Christiane Mentrup to present the OT Egypt Project got accepted accepted but at present no funding was granted.

OT in Oman
During Christiane Mentrup’s recent teachings in Northern England the opportunity arose to meet with Majida Albalushi, an OT bachelor degree student in her third year at Teesside University. Majida, a nurse with a strong interest in mental health, has been sent on a scholarship through the Ministry of Health in Oman to study OT and to consequently set up the profession in her country. At this point there are only very few colleagues working in the country. There aren’t any plans to set up an educational programme.
You can contact her through her mail address:

Abbassiya Hospital
Professor Moneim Ashour of the Abbassiya Hospital Ward 18 reports: “We have a new Health Minister, who is a very liberal politician and a believer of market forces politics. His background experience is in private sector medicine. We are not sure yet of the priority and policy he gives to chronic illnesses and disablities. His name is Hatem EI-Gabaly.

The new minister replaced our project supporter Dr Mohamed Ghanem with Dr Nasser Loza, whose back ground is also private psychiatry. Ward 18 and myself survived this landslide.
We hope the new policies are more productive and we are checking how to work with the new regime. We appreciate your suggestions.

The Minstery of social welfare gave place to a new minstry of Social Solidarit, which will take care of the very needy people within society. policies. The minister’s name is Elmesailhy.
Political priorities seem to be job creation for the unemployed youth.” Professor Ashour is confident that the time is right to start the introduction of OT education and practice now.

Ain Shams University
Following her initial visit in summer 2005 Sue Hartshorne returned to Cairo in January 2006 to support the establishment of an occupational therapy education programme at the Ain Shams University. She was invited by Dr Ahmed El Kahky at the Institute of Postgraduate Childhood Studies to run some short courses at the university. In addition she assisted in finalising the proposed graduate entry occupational therapy curriculum. Besides, she met with representatives of other universities about their ideas for occupational therapy education.Her head of School in Adelaide (and WFOT Delegate for Australia), Professor Esther May has been very supportive to make the visit possible.

October 6th University
Negotiations with October 6 university about an undergraduate occupational therapy program are underway with discussions between Dr Ahmed Hassan , Dr Naiema Hussein, Professor Talaat Rihan and Mrs Sue Hartshorne from Australia.

CDOT Newsletter #4

CDOT Newsletter #3 (August 2005)

August 1st, 2005

Dear Supporters of CDOT,

Humans around the world have been shocked to hear about the terror attack and its consequences in Sharm El Sheik on July 23rd. The WFOT Executive Team sends its sincerest condolences to our friends and colleagues in Egypt. Our thoughts are with you and we hope that all of you, your families and friends are safe.

Most of you who are in the Northern hemisphere and in particular the ones living in Egypt are going through a hot summer. Hopefully you have a chance to take a vacation with family and friends and to collect some energy for the rest of the year.
Within our project of setting up the profession in Egypt there is still a lot of work which needs to be done, even though that we already achieved a lot. As you will see in this newsletter the group of persons involved is growing steadily and we have support from people around the world.

Keep the good work going!

Please,send your next news by October 15th at my usual email address.

Christiane Mentrup
2nd Vice President
World Federation of Occupational Therapists (WFOT)

CDOT Members
RequestsMid of June 2005 we received the following mail from Céline De Wever, one of our CDOT members:
“I'm a French OT and I've worked a couple of years in Egypt in Cairo and Alexandria with a french non profit organization "Asmae" .
I worked in Seti center in Daher to train the team to take care of disabled children (mainly CP) in link with OT. Together we have set up technical aids and worked on the evaluation. We worked closely with children and families and we did some home stay visits.
I've met a lot of people very interested in OT.
I'm now back in France and I wish the best of luck for the future of OT in Egypt.
Bye, Céline De Wever“

Céline, thank you for your contribution of providing OT services in Egypt and good luck for your future in France.

Visit from Australia
Sue Hartshorne came to Egypt in June to undertake research there. She took the opportunity to meet some of our CDOT members and wrote the following note:
“Having arrived a stranger to Egypt on 18th June, I quickly felt very welcome and supported. Thank you to my colleagues and friends for your generosity and for the opportunities to talk about your work and lives, and to discuss the development of occupational therapy education in Egypt.

I believe this is a very exciting time for the occupational therapy profession, a unique opportunity for occupational therapy education to be developed and contextualised according to Egyptian culture and needs. With limited time, I was most fortunate to visit both Ain Shams University with Dr Ahmed El-Kahky, and 6 October University with Dr Ahmed Hussain and Dr Naiema Hassan, as well as meeting with Mrs Maha Helali of the Learning Resource Centre and The Egyptian Society for Developing Skills of Special Need Children.
I was able to give a presentation at Ain Shams University about occupational therapy, using cerebral palsy and paediatrics to illustrate my points. I sincerely hope I was able to respond to the questions that arose in a way that was helpful. Already much planning, creativity and research has occurred with regard to occupational therapy education, and I was honoured to be informed about future and potential plans for both education and for service delivery. I feel as though I have gained more than I have given and hope I will have the opportunity to be further involved. “

Maha Helali reported that Sue Hartshorne was very kind to bring some brochures and CDs about Autism from Autism Australia. The ADVANCE staff loved them. Maha and Laura took her out for dinner and chatted about OT in Egypt, and working ina different culture, in general.

You can contact Sue under the following address:
Sue Hartshorne
Occupational Therapy Department
School of Health Sciences
University of South Australia
T: +61 – 83 02 2487

New OT in town
In July WFOT received the following mail of a colleague who just moved to Cairo:
“My name is Gillian Barrett and I have recently moved to Cairo, Egypt, due to my husband's work. We are intending to live in Cairo for approximately 4 years.
Although I do not intend to seek full time employment during our time in Egypt, I note, with interest, that you have established a committee for the development of OT in Egypt.
I just wanted to let you know I was here and if there is anything I can do to help support OT development in Cairo, please let me know.”

Gillian could see herself doing some volunteer OT work app. 3 mornings a week. Feel free to contact her.

Gillian E.M. Barrett
140 Katameya Heights,
Cairo, Egypt
T(h): (002) 02 7571373
M: (002) 010 4696449

Abbassiya Hospital
Professor Moneim Ashour reports that the nurses and social workers on the psychogeriatric ward at the Abbassiya Hospital continue to provide activities to their clients. But they are in urgent need for a professional OT to support them and to provide some consultations.
Ward 18 is still in a process of developing an integrated Alzheimer care service package, supported by the Ministry of Health and Population and the Rotary Club Cairo. According to Professor Ashour’s vision it will address home as well as hospital care.


Maha Helali reports:
The two German OT students finished their five week summer internship at the ADVANCE Center and had done very well indeed. The staff at the center hope that these weeks helped the students to understand more aboutchildren with special needs and that more students will come next summer.

ADVANCE conducted a specialized course about Autism with the NationalResearch Council and it included two lectures concerning OT. One was aboutsensory integration and the other was about fine motor skills.

Dr. Moneim Ashour has referred a psychologist who is specialized in Autism to attend a course run by ADVANCE and NRC.

Ain Shams University
OT Curriculum
A draft of the OT curriculum has been developed by Dr. Ahmed El Kahky and his team and was presented to Dr. Haider Ghaleb, an expert an curriculum development in Egypt.

Alexandria University
OT Programme Planning
We haven’t heard anything from Alexandria University but expect that they keep working on establishing an OT programme.

Cairo University
No news from Cairo University, either. We hope to hear from them again for the next newsletter.

Maha Helali was able to establish a contact with a prominent charity person in Qatar who recognised the need for occupational therapy in the country and is very keen to learn more about our project in Egypt to use it as an example.

The World Federation of Occupational Therapists had their annual Executive Mangement Team Meeting in Riga / Latvia in June 2005. Itl included a short professional conference for colleagues in the region. The Management Team was impressed with the progress our project is making.

Cindy Hahn, an American occupational therapist, associate professor of occupational therapy at A. T. Still University in Mesa, Arizona, who is serving WFOT on the IAG for Mental Health and the Elderly will attend the World Congress for the World Federation for Mental Health in September in Cairo. She will arrive in Cairo on September 2nd and will leave for home on the 8th. Anybody interested to meet Cindy could get in contact with her
Cindy Hahn, MOT, OTR/LAssociate Professor and AMOT Program DirectorA. T. Still UniversityMesa, AZ USA

CDOT Newsletter #2 (May 2005)

May 1st, 2005

Dear Supporters of CDOT,

Almost 4 months have passed by since Madeleine and I returned from our visit in Egypt. You probably know the feeling when there is a high degree of activity and you are afraid that this productive phase might not last very long. This is pretty much how I felt when we left Cairo early this year. But I was wrong, obviously did not count enough on the enormous energy you are would be showing. I am so impressed with what is happening in Cairo and Alexandria in regard to occupational therapy and like to congratulate everybody involved. Keep the good work going!

Please,send your next news by July 15th at my usual email address.

Christiane Mentrup
2nd Vice President
World Federation of Occupational Therapists (WFOT)

CDOT Members
RequestsVery regularly colleagues around the world ask about employment or fieldwork opportunities in Egypt. Some of them have been alerted by the WFOT publications of the project.

The WFOT secretariat passes all these mails on to me. If there is a job or fieldwork opening in one of the institutions in Egypt, please, let me know about it.

One of the colleagues interested in a professional stay in Egypt for July and August is Penny Isbister, an occupational therapist from New Zealand. If you can offer an opportunity for Penny, you contact her under:
Penny Isbister

Visit from Australia
In mid-June this year Sue Hartshorne, OT lecturer from the School of Health Sciences at University of South Australia is planning a semi-private trip to Egypt. She would be interested in meeting CDOT members and talking to them about the graduate entry program at her university. Anybody interested can contact Sue Hartshorne at the following address: Occupational Therapy Department
School of Health Sciences
University of South Australia
T: +61 – 83 02 2487

Abbassiya Hospital
Professor Moneim Ashour reports that since the beginning of this year his psycho-geriatric ward for 160 elderly ladies at Abbassiya Hospital is going through some major changes. In the past the patients never had any activities to follow up on. Earlier this year Professor Ashour was able to raise money for daily activities from the Rotary Club Cairo and Maha Helali from a friend who prefers to stay anonymous to buy 25 chairs for activities on the ward.
During the visit the WFOT representatives coached the staff on the ward on applying activities and provided some materials. Madeleine Corstens-Mignot performed music, dance and arts activities with the clients which were very well received by patients and staff. With the Rotary support a kitchen and a garden were set up. Ever since the ladies on ward 18 are growing vegetables, fruit, herbs and flowers and produce some small snacks and cakes in the brand new kitchen.

Every day the ladies are going on short walks in the area, are performing gymnastics and dancing in the group. In addition arts and crafts activities are being offered.

According to Professor Ashour these new activities are happening every day between 10 and 12 am six days a week and the quality of life on the ward has increased substantially. No new personell has been assigned to these tasks but everything is being provided for by the dedicated nusing staff and social workers with the support of the physicans.
Professor Ashour notes that it was a touching scene when he observed a 64 year old demented patient sitting for hours in the back yard, guarding her flowers and waiting for the plants to grow.

Congratulations on this great success to Professor Ashour and his team!Professor Ashour and Christiane Mentrup are preparing an application to have an occupational therapist for a three month fieldwork stay at Abbassiya Hospital to support the work there.

Conference in CairoThe ADVANCE and the LRC together run their 5th annual conference in March titled “Embracing Diversity” to inform parents, teachers, specialists and administrators about issues related to special needs children. The workshops and lectures were received very well by the audience.

Congratulations to Maha, Beth and their team!

Starting in June 2 OT students studying with Christiane Mentrup in Germany will perform a five week fieldwork experience at the ADVANCE Centre for autistic children in Cairo.

New staff
Through the CDOT newsletter Angelika Roschka, an occupational therapist from Germany, became aware of the need for an OT at the LRC. In September 2005 she will start working at the center and is looking forward to actively support the overall project. Ms. Roschka has finished her bachelor’s degree in Holland, did some work in Nepal and Germany, mainly in the area of pediatrics.

Ain Shams University
Workshop on Occupational Therapy
The Ain Shams University Institute of Postgraduate Childhood Studies invited Laura Efinger, the American occupational therapist working for ADVANCE, to present a workshop on February 12, 2005. Accompanied by Maha Helali, Laura gave a presentation on "What is OT?". She spoke about the definition, gave examples of classes in school, degrees available and all the fields where an OT could be placed (children, geriatrics,mental health and rehab in general). She also explained about OT being mainlyconcerned with the daily functioning of each individual according to theirabilities and needs to reach independence at the utmost level. Another focus was on OT assessment and treatment in pediatrics. Her lecture was informative and precise and very well received by the audience at the university.

At the end Laura, calmly and professionally, answered questions. There was a lot of concern about the overlap between OT & PT,however Laura managed to explain clearly that the overlap was to the benefit ofthe therapy receiver, and that it should not establish a conflict if the roles within an organisation or hospital are clearly defined. A big thank you to Laura for investing her personal time and being such an excellent ambassador for the profession.

OT Curriculum
A first draft of a curriculum has been developed by a group of experts at Ain Shams University. The WFOT Coordinator of the Education and Research Programme provided some initial feedback on it.

Visit in Europe
Dr Ahmed El-Kahky and Dr Ghada El Dorry are planning a visit in Europe in order to see OT educational programmes this spring.

Alexandria University
OT Programme Planning
Dr Tarek Shafshak from Alexandria University reported that after a meeting with some professors of Rehabilitation Medicine in the Faculty of Medicine of different Egyptian Universities, the conclusion was reached thatthe specialty of occupational therapy is needed in Egypt. It will be the goal to establish acollege or a high institute for OT in a number of Egyptian universities. Occupational therapy will be part of rehabilitation medicine at the respective faculties of medicine. The officials at Alexandria University are welcoming the conclusion and are expecting to develop an OT department within the next future. We may hear good news in a year.

Cairo University
Staff members of the Department for Physical Therapy at the Cairo University two meetings with experts from different professional fields in order to set up a curriculum for an occupational therapy programme. Their discussions were based on the WFOT Minimum Standards for the Education of Occupational Therapists. They developed a mission statement, programme objectives, short and long term goals. The initial curriculum draft was sent to Anne Carswell from the WFOT Programme for Education and Research who provided some initial feedback.
The expert group is still in the process to decide if they want to open the post-graduate course for PTs only or integrate medical doctors, as well.

6th of October University
Plans are underway to establish an occupational therapy education programme (bachelor level) at the College of Applied Science at the 6th of October University. Sue Hartshorne will provide a consultation during her visit in Cairo. Motivation at the university is high and we expect to hear more, very soon.

Israel Occupational Therapy Association (IOTA)
Translated Documents The OT Association in Israel was so kind to translate another WFOT document in the Arabic language. You will soon find the “WFOT Guidelines for Approval of Educational Programmes”.
A big “Thank you” to all colleagues involved in Israel!

At a WHO Meeting on “Disability and Rehabilitation” in Geneva in April 2005 Christiane Mentrup had the honor to meet Dr R. Srinivasa Murthy, a WHO Medical Officer for Mental Health and Substance Abuse at the Regional Office for the Eastern Mediterranean. Dr Murthy sees the need for occupational therapy in Egypt and other countries in the region and fully supports the project to establish OT practice and education. Dr Murthy recommends to set up a conference for the health ministers in the region to encourage the integration of occupational therapy within their respective health care systems. Unfortunately, WHO is in no position to fund such a meeting. Dr Murthy is asking to receive the data on occupational therapy practice and education of countries in the region.

Dr. Srinivasa Murthy
Medical Officer – Mental health Substance Abuse
Abdul Rezzak-AlSanhouri St.
P.O. Box 7606 Nasr City
Cairo 11371

The World Federation of Occupational Therapists will have their next Mangement Team Meeting in Riga / Latvia in June 2005. It will include a short professional conference for colleagues in the region.

CDOT Newsletter #1 (February 2005)

February 1st, 2005

Dear Supporters of CDOT,

After a very exciting visit in Egypt early this year Madeleine Corstens-Mignot and I returned back to Northern Europe and to our work places. We had the honor and pleasure to meet with many of you, all in all covering 26 appointments within two weeks in Cairo and Alexandria.
In order to make sure that we are all pulling in the same direction in establishing occupational therapy in Egypt, we decided to set up a newsletter which will be mailed out to all parties involved the first of every other month. The deadline for contributions will be two weeks before the distribution. This means that I am expecting your next news by March 15th at my usual email address.

We hope that all of you who celebrated the Eid Al-Adha feast had enjoyable holidays with family and friends.

Christiane Mentrup
2nd Vice President
World Federation of Occupational Therapists (WFOT)

CDOT Members
Expansion of CDOTThrough the Information dessiminated by the World Federation and the British Association of Occupational Therapy an occupational therapist, who used to work in Cairo showed interest in our project. Ms. Susannah Barnes, a Pediatric Occupational Therapist, who worked in Egypt for 17 years and helped to translate the "Protégé" programme for Caritas Egypt, contacted WFOT with the intention to support the "OT in Egypt Project". At this point Susannah is living in the United Kingdom. Email: Welcome to our group, Susannah!You find a complete list of our contact persons at the end of this list. If you meet any other OT working in Egypt, please, let us know.

Abbassia Hospital
25 Chairs for WARD 18 Professor Moneim Ashour is in the process of reorganising a ward for chronically mentally ill women at Abbassia Hospital. The intention is to offer some activities and (long term) occupational therapy for the 80 ladies on ward 18. Maha Helali became aware of the project and managed, through her connections, to raise funding for 25 chairs. The money came from true philanthropists whom were contacted by Maha and want to remain anonymous. The total cost came up to LE 2750 (470 US$) after a 20% discount by Eng. Ali Helmi from "Al Shark Meuble" where Maha purchased the chairs. Eng. Helmi is a fellow Rotarian and an acquaintance of Prof. Moneim Ashour. Moneim made the connection between Maha and Eng. Helmi. Well done Maha Helali and Engineer Helmi!

Rotary Club Cairo
Members of the Rotary Club Cairo were informed by Prof Ashour about the intention to introduce activities for the elderly ladies on ward 18 at Abbassia Hospital. Generously they donated app. 1400 US$ for this purpose. It is planned to invest the money for a kitchen and a garden to provide some long-term activity options for the clients which are meaningful to them such as gardening, cooking and baking. Dr. Mohamed Ghanem, the head of Abbassia Hospital is supporting th efforts.
A big thank you to the Rotary Club Cairo! It will definitely improve the quality of life for the ladies on ward 18.
Conference in CairoThe 5th annual ADVANCE conference under the theme of “Embracing diversity” will be held at the British International School in Cairo from March 10th to 12th 2005. You will find some further information on the WFOT website
ADVANCE is still looking for occupational therapists to present on the topic of sensory integration. This is an important event to progress the development of services for children with special needs in Egypt. Please, contact Maha, if you need any further information! (Email:
Dar El-Mona Center
Educational Institute for Occupational Therapy
The administration at the Dar El-Mona Center is very interested to establish occupational therapy practice and education within their facility. They are at the stage of looking into the details of setting up an OT education programme which includes the availability of teaching staff, teaching hours and the kind of certificate they might be able to offer. Their main target could be students with a degree in physical therapy. Sufficient rooms and some materials are already available. Good luck to the Dar El-Mona initiatives!
Ain Shams University
Letter of Intent
On January 9th, 2005 University President Prof. Saleh Hashem from Ain Shams University (ASU) and Christiane Mentrup, 2nd Vice President of the World Federation signed an agreement stating that the University of Ain Shams intends to launch a one year post-graduate certificate programme in occupational therapy. This is intended as a first stage in a three stage process of establish a full bachelor’s or master’s degree programme in OT. Now Ahmed El-Kahky and Ghada El-Dorry are in the process of designing a curriculum and recruiting local staff for the first course.
Congratulations to Prof. Saleh Hashem and his team! This is an important step ahead.

Workshop on Occupational Therapy
In order to support what is happening at ASU Laura Efinger, an American trained occupational therapist currently working at the LRC will conduct a workshop at the Higher Institute for Childhood Studies at Ain Shams University. Laura is one of the few OTs currently working in Egypt and she will be very busy supporting our CDOT work. Laura, we count on you!

Alexandria University
Dr. Tarek Shafshak published the article “Rehabilitation Services in Egypt” in the Internet. You might find this to be a useful tool for your arguments of establishing occupational therapy. (see last page)

Current developments
At the Alexandria University Dr. Tarek Shafshak and his team intend to establish a Higher institute for Occupational Therapy, offering a bachelor’s degree for OT at the Faculty of medicine. The course language will initially be English and OT subjects will be taught by foreign teachers until they can provide local faculty. Rather than educating many occupational therapists they like to have a few but very good ones. We are curious to hear more from Alex University.

World Federation of Mental Health
Congress in Cairo
The World Federation of Mental Health will have their next international congress in Cairo from Sept. 4th to 8th, 2005. CDOT members and occupational therapists all over the world are encouraged to present OT at the congress and to stress the need for the profession in Egypt. Please, contact Prof. Ashour is you are interested in a joint presentation. Email:

Israel Occupational Therapy Association (IOTA)
Translated DocumentsOccupational therapy colleagues in Israel committed lots of time and energy into translating relevant WFOT documents into the Arabic language. These documents will soon be published on the WFOT website. A big “Thank You” to the WFOT Delegate Orna Sarfaty and her team!

Visit Report Egypt
By the middle of February you will find the report of the WFOT visit (by Madeleine and Christiane) at the WFOT website.
REHABILITATION SERVICES IN EGYPTTarek S. Shafshak, MDProfessor of Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation, Faculty of Medicine,Alexandria University, Alexandria, Egypt.Introduction and general description:Physical medicine and rehabilitation (PMR) have been practiced in Egypt since the 1940's. Currently, there are at least 195 hospitals belonging to the Ministry of Health and about 18 university affiliated hospitals that have special departments for PMR (these departments may also be named rheumatology and rehabilitation, or physical medicine, rheumatology and rehabilitation in some hospitals). They are distributed allover the country, but mainly in large cities. In addition, there are departments for physical and/or rehabilitation medicine at the internal security hospitals in Cairo and in some military hospitals. The biggest rehabilitation center in Egypt is the Armed Forces Center for PMR at El-Agouza, Cairo. There are also several private PMR centers (which may be a separate center or a separate department in a private general hospital) in most of the Egyptian cities.Generally speaking, the departments of PMR are supervised and managed by specialists of PMR (i.e. physiatrists). Many physiatrists, physiotherapists and trained nurses work together in these departments as one team. They offer rehabilitation services mainly for neurological, orthopedic and rheumatic patients. These services usually include medical treatment, rehabilitation nursing and physiotherapy, in addition to prescribing assisted devices (e.g. walking aids, orthoses and/or prostheses) and train patients how to use it. Also, they offer general medical services for many rheumatologic disorders; and sometimes rehabilitation services for some pulmonary and cardiac patients. Usually, physiatrists work in collaboration with speech therapists, psychologists, psychiatrists, social workers, vocational therapists and/or other medical specialists (that are usually not available at the departments of PMR) to provide the necessary service for each patient. Some governmental hospitals provide the rehabilitation service free of charge, or at low economic prices. The national medical insurance, and other medical insurance companies, usually covers the expenses of rehabilitation services (including the assistive devices, orthoses and prostheses) for insured people. The cost of rehabilitation services is also reasonable in the private sector.Physiatrists in Egypt are medical doctors who have a diploma, master or doctoral degree (MD) in PMR. They should have at least 2 years of training, and pass a written, oral and a clinical examination to get the diploma or master degree in PMR. Those with a master degree are eligible to be enrolled in the doctoral degree program, in which they prepare a doctoral thesis in PMR (for at least 2 years), then they have to undergo an advanced written, oral and clinical examination in PMR including the management (clinical diagnosis, electrodiagnosis, physical treatment and medical treatment) and the rehabilitation of all musculoskeletal and locomotory disorders in addition to other disabilities. Physiotherapists or who practice physiotherapy in Egypt should have a bachelor degree in physiotherapy. However, trained nurses who are trained in physical rehabilitation and had a diploma in physical rehabilitation (or massage and electrotherapy) also practice physiotherapy (and sometimes they practice in addition occupational therapy) under physiatrist supervision, and most of them are doing a great job.There are also many orthotic and prosthetic centers. Some of these centers belong to the Ministry of Health (e.g. the largest center is in the Institute for Poliomyelitis in Cairo besides smaller centers in Alexandria, Minoufia, Giza and Baniswief governorates), while few are affiliated to military hospitals (e.g. the Armed Forces Center for PMR in Cairo). Also, other centers (sometimes called plants) are affiliated to either the Ministry of Social Affairs or some charities. The most important of these are Alwafaa Wa-alamal in Cairo, the rehabilitation center at Moharam-Beck in Alexandria and the center for PMR, Masjid Sidi-Gaber Charity, at Semouha, Alexandria). In addition, there are many other small private centers. In general, they assemble or manufacture orthoses and prostheses from Egyptian-made or imported materials. The imported materials are mainly the hydraulic, safety or polycentric knee components. Sometimes however, other components i.e. the foot component are also imported. If the orthoses and prostheses are made totally from Egyptian materials, their price would be reasonable. However, if they are made of imported materials, this makes the cost expensive. Furthermore, there are about 60 physiotherapy and rehabilitation centers affiliated to the Ministry of Social Affairs. They are distributed in most governorates. Few are now available in some rural areas. Each center has a doctor (a physiatrist, neurologist, orthopedic surgeon or a general practioner depending mainly on the availability) and at least one physiotherapist in addition to few nurses. They provide general medical services, physiotherapy and limited rehabilitation services (prescribing some assisted devices, and offering gait training).Several physiotherapy centers, mostly private (but some are separate departments in few hospitals affiliated to either a university or the Ministry of Health) are now available allover the country, but mainly in big cities. They are supposed to receive patients referred by a physician for physiotherapy. In this way, they might participate in providing a part of the rehabilitation program for those patients.Elderly homes appeared in Egypt in the early twentieth century. However, they are still few, and are available mainly in Cairo and Alexandria cities. Most of them are affiliated to charities (e.g. Egyptian Red Crescent, Alwafaa Wa-alamal, Greek Charity, Al-Hadaya Charity, some churches and others). Most of them are well furnished and equipped. They help elderly people (who needs assistance for the activity of daily living, which is not available at their homes) to live a comfortable life, and to cover their basic needs. Limited rehabilitation services (e.g. exercise therapy, rehabilitation nursing, hydrotherapy,…) became available in some of these elderly homes during the past 2 decades. Unfortunately, most of the available places are on a charge bases. The cost is equivalent to 10-150 dollars/month, according to the accommodation standard and the offered service.Spa therapy (warm mineral water and/or mud) has been in practice in Egypt for several years. They provide rehabilitation services for chronic painful arthritic or non-malignant musculoskeletal pains. The most important places are at Helwan (near Cairo), the Suez Gulf region, Safaga on the red sea, some parts of upper Egypt, Sewa oasis, and at Elwady Aljadid governorate (in the western desert).The rehabilitation practice problems:The practice of PMR in Egypt might be considered accepted if compared to the practice of this specialty in many African and Arab countries. However, we hope at improving it to avoid a big gap between its practice in Egypt and its practice in the developed countries (e.g. USA, Canada, European Union,..). Also, we are trying to follow the great progress that was made in the USA as regard to this specialty. The author has tried to summarize the problems that we are facing now in the following items:
The number of physiatrists is still low compared to the size of the Egyptian population and our hopes for the future.
Some physiatrists need regular training programs to improve their knowledge regarding the rapidly progressing recent advances in PMR.
Only a few physiatrists have the experience of managing spasticity using phenol neurolysis (which is a cheap method for controlling localized spasticity).
The cost of botulinum toxin injection which has been recently used in managing localized spasticity is high compared to the standard of living in Egypt.
Occupational therapists are not generally available in Egypt. Therefore, some physiatrists (especially, the university staff), usually train some nurses to work as occupational therapists.
The well trained orthotists and prosthetists are still few compared to the population needs.
The number of social workers, vocational therapists and speech therapists who are experienced to work in the field of rehabilitation medicine is still not satisfactory.
The cost of the proper prostheses and orthoses (that are made of imported materials) is high compared to the standard of living of many Egyptian patients.
The cost of the recent computerized and/or motorized equipment that might be used in the patient's environment for his proper rehabilitation is expensive.
The price of the physiotherapy equipment is rising.
The newly used equipment in the patient's evaluation procedures is expensive (e.g. those used in gait analysis and for electrophysiological assessment of the neuromuscular system).
The financial support for most of the PMR centers is limited.
The social and/or financial support for the increasing number of patients enrolled in a rehabilitation program is limited.
The number of elderly homes is still limited compared to the population size, especially the centers that are ready to admit disabled and handicapped persons. Also, they are still not available for any one unless he is able to afford it.
Some physiotherapists refuse working under the supervision of trained physiatrists. This might interfere with quality control.
Many of the spa therapy places need development.
There are only a few PMR centers or departments that are equipped and ready to admit patients for a long term in-patients rehabilitation program. The available places are reserved for special or selected patients.
Hopes, dreams and plans for the future:Our hopes and plans for the future according to the author's view point could be summarized in the following:
Increasing the financial support for the departments of PMR to cover the expenses of the recent equipment used for the patient evaluation and treatment, and that needed for the continuous training of physiatrists and all workers in the field of rehabilitation medicine.
Increasing the number of physiatrists.
Creating a special institute for occupational therapy to graduate professional occupational therapists (a paramedical institution).
Increasing the number of trained orthotists and prosthetists by establishing modern schools for graduating them.
Training many social workers and speech therapist to work in the field of rehabilitation medicine and increasing the number of trained vocational therapists.
Increasing financial support for disabled subjects and those enrolled in a rehabilitation program.
The number of rehabilitation centers should increase to cover all areas of the country not covered now. Also, the size of each rehabilitation center and the number of the available physiotherapy and training equipment should increase to deal with the increasing number of referred patients. This would also suggest increasing the number of the available trained physiotherapists in each center. Also, the number of trained physiatrists should increase so that at least one physiatrist will be available in each rehabilitation center to ensure proper planning and supervision of the rehabilitation program.
Establishing new rehabilitation centers that have all facilities for a long term in-patient rehabilitation program.
The number of elderly homes should increase and cover all parts of the country. Also, there should be a better chance for patients that could be admitted to these homes free of charge and at the same time having a good service.
Finally, it is our hope or dream to establish a special PMR educational and training institute that provide all rehabilitation facilities available now in the USA for our patients at a reasonable cost, and at the same time will be a training center for junior physiatrists, physiotherapists and all other rehabilitation personnel.
According to the author's opinion, the above mentioned hopes and dreams for the future necessitate, however, a great financial and technical support that might only be attained by the internation

What is the history of developing OT in Egypt?

Read some of the Committee to Develop OT in Egypt (CDOT) Newsletters to learn details about the development of OT and future plans in Egypt.

Are there job opportunities in Egypt?

Job Opportunity - Occupational Therapist - Cairo, Egypt

A position is vacant for an Occupational Therapist at the Learning Resource Center, Cairo, Egypt

The LRC is a diagnostic/therapeutic medical unit that provides diagnostic and educational services to children and adolescents, who are experiencing learning difficulties and/or developmental problems. The LRC provides assessments, consultations, specialised therapies, and in-service training for schools and/or parents. Our multi-disciplinary assessment approach provides a comprehensive evaluation by certified professionals and produces information about the childs development and learning abilities. The assessment culminates in a parent conference and a report including detailed recommendations and a plan of action. We see children with many conditions including dyspraxia, down syndrome, autism, developmental delays, genetic disorders and other variety of disabilities.

Due to expanding caseloads, an opportunity has arisen for a senior occupational therapist experienced in pediatrics, to join our established inter-disciplinary team of physicians, psychologists, occupational therapists, physiotherapists, speech & language pathologists, and educational specialists.

The post offered involves multi-professional assessment and treatment programs of children, and the implementation of occupational therapy programs through liaison with all staff involved in the childs remedial program.

For further details, please contact:
Mrs Laura Efinger, Head of the OT Department at the Learning Resource Center at

Where are OT services established in Egypt?

Facilities providing OT services in Egypt:

  • LRC (Learning Resource Center)

The LRC is a diagnostic/therapeutic center that provides diagnostic and educational services to children and adolescents, who are experiencing learning difficulties and/or developmental problems.

LRC is located at:

Building #9 Road 278, New Maadi,
Cairo, Egypt 11434

Tel: (+202) 5163965 or 5163967
Mobile: (+2012) 2332809
Fax: (+202) 5203110

Contact: Head of OT Department: Laura Efinger, OT/L

Sunday, June 3, 2007

Who may benefit from Occupational Therapy services?

People who have these health conditions may benefit from occupational therapy services:

  • Work-related injuries including lower back problems or repetitive stress injuries
  • Limitations following a stroke, heart attack or brain injury
  • Arthritis, multiple sclerosis, or other serious chronic conditions
  • Birth injuries, learning problems, or developmental disabilities
  • Mental health or behavioral problems including Alzheimer's, schizophrenia, and post-traumatic stress
  • Problems with substance use or eating disorders
  • Burns, spinal cord injuries, or amputations
  • Broken bones or other injuries from falls, sports injuries, or accidents
  • Vision or cognitive problems that threaten the ability to participate in daily activities

(This list is not all inclusive)

Are there any OT educational programs in Egypt?

At the present time, all Occupational Therapists working in Egypt are expatriates. There are two universities working on developing OT curriculums.

The following universities are in the process of establishing OT curriculums:

  • Ain Sham’s University, Egypt
    Ain Sham’s University is in the process of establishing a Master’s Program in OT.

  • October 6th University, Egypt
    October 6th University is in the process of establishing a Bachelor’s Program in OT.

Role of OT: Ergonomics in the Workplace

Ergonomics: Occupational Therapy in the Workplace

(From the American OT Association: Reproducible consumer handout to further public education)

Ergonomics is the science of designing a person's environment so that it facilitates the highest level of function. A person's work environment should fit his or her capabilities as a worker.
Good ergonomics prevent injury and promote health, safety, and comfort for employees.

The use of ergonomics principles can increase worker productivity and quality. Employers can implement a program that includes guidelines for employees to follow, contributes to an efficient work environment, prevents injuries and the development of chronic medical conditions, and helps employees return to work after an injury has occurred.

Occupational therapy practitioners are trained in the structure and function of the human body and the effects of illness and injury. They also can determine how the components of the workplace can facilitate a healthy and efficient environment or one that could cause injury or illness. An occupational therapist can help employers identify hazards that may contribute to on-the-job injury, and determine how it can be eliminated.

What can an occupational therapist do?

  • Identify and eliminate accident and injury risk factors in the workplace, such as actions associated with repetition, force, fixed or awkward postures, poorly designed tool handles, heavy loads, distance, vibration, noise, extreme temperatures, poor lighting, and psychosocial and other occupational stresses.
  • Analyze job functions and job descriptions based on job tasks.
  • Design pre-hire screenings to determine a candidate's suitability to a particular job.
  • Modify tools and equipment so that they do not enable injury or illness.
  • Provide education and training on injury prevention, workplace health and safety regulations, and managing job-related stress.
  • Determine reasonable accommodations and worksite accessibility that is in compliance with the Americans With Disabilities Act.
  • Recommend changes employers can take to minimize injury and accident risk factors.

What can a person do to employ good ergonomics in the workplace?

  • Take a proactive approach to preventing injury in the workplace.
  • Follow guidelines set forth by employers that may prevent injury and illness.
  • Report hazards or poor work conditions or employee behavior that may contribute to illness or injury in the workplace.

Need more information?

Proper workplace ergonomics is important and should be addressed by both employers and employees.

Occupational therapists are trained in helping both adults and children with a broad range of physical, developmental, and psychological conditions. Practitioners also help clients and their caregivers with strategies that can prevent injury and secondary complications, and support health and well-being.

Copyright 2004 by the American Occupational Therapy Association, Inc. All rights reserved. This page may be reproduced and distributed without prior written consent.

Role of OT: Alzheimer's Disease

Living With Alzheimer's Disease

(From the American OT Association: Reproducible consumer handout to further public education)

Alzheimer's disease is a condition that affects the brain and typically occurs in a person's middle late life. It affects both men and women of all races, cultures, and backgrounds. The disease is a slowly progressing form of dementia, and the rate of progression is different for every person.

People with Alzheimer's disease experience memory loss, language problems, and changes in decision-making ability, judgment, and personality. The cause of Alzheimer's disease is unknown.

Alzheimer's disease is caused by a destruction of nerve cells in the brain that leads to a disconnection of areas of the brain that normally work together. The most common risk factors are old age and a family history of dementia. Early to middle stage symptoms of the disease include repeating statements frequently, often misplacing items, difficulty finding names for familiar objects, getting lost on familiar routes, and personality changes.

Because people with Alzheimer's disease may have difficulty completing routine tasks in their day-to-day lives, occupational therapists can help individuals and their families to adapt tasks and environments to help promote or maximize independence, safety and function.

What can an occupational therapist do?

  • Evaluate and recommend changes for a person and his or her environment to determine how it can be adapted to accommodate the effects of the disease to improve safety and functional capabilities.
  • Develop new routines for a person with dementia that allow the person to continue the routines on his or her own.
  • Identify needed home modifications that will promote safety and performance (i.e. lowering counter height allows for seated activities).
  • Teach individuals and family members to implement home modifications to support safety and capabilities including ways to create simple and clear passageways.
  • Recommend adaptive equipment, such as bathroom safety aids (i.e. grab bars) that help to prevent falls.
  • Train family members on strategies to maximize the client's abilities and find ways to manage caregiver stress.

What can friends and family of a person with Alzheimer's disease do?

  • Seek out a physician's referral for occupational therapy to help manage the person's daily activities, including their personal care.
  • Limit access to dangerous items, such as flammable liquids, stairwells, and medications.
  • Remove control knobs on items that also may be dangerous, such as knobs on the oven and stove.
  • Install deadbolt locks on doors and window to prevent a person with Alzheimer's from wandering outside.

Need more information?

Alzheimer's disease is a serious illness that should not go untreated. Occupational therapists are trained in helping both adults and children with a broad range of physical, cognitive, developmental, and psychological impairments and conditions. Practitioners also help clients and their caregivers with strategies that can prevent injury and secondary complications, and support health and well being.

Copyright 2004 AOTA, Inc. All Rights Reserved. This page may be reproduced and distributed without prior written consent.

Role of OT: Traumatic Brain Injury

Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI), Effects and Intervention

(From the American OT Association: Reproducible consumer handout to further public education)

Traumatic brain injury (TBI) is caused by an impact to the head from direct blows or sudden movements in other parts of the body, such as severe shaking. TBI can result in physical, cognitive, behavioral, or emotional difficulties. Injuries can range from minor to extremely severe and call for various levels of intervention and treatment.

People with TBI may experience short-term memory loss, have difficulty concentrating or paying attention, become easily disoriented, have impaired judgment, experience headaches or migraines, have slurred speech, experience seizures, become fatigued, depressed, or easily agitated, or experience increased anxiety and impulsive behaviors.

Occupational therapists can help people who have sustained a TBI. The type and duration of intervention depend on how severe the injury.

What can an occupational therapist do?

  • Evaluate the client engaging in daily activities at home, such as dressing and eating; at work; and during leisure activities, and facilitate the resumption of those activities.
  • Establish and restore (depending on the age of the client) endurance and strength so that a person with TBI can bathe, dress, and feed himself or herself.
  • Help the client minimize overstimulation and confusion in his or her environment.
  • Help the client perform simple tasks that are meaningful to the person's life.
  • Implement weekly checklists of household chores.
  • Recommend equipment that can aid a person in performing daily life activities with greater independence, such as a tub or shower seat to allow bathing without standing when the client has poor balance and grab bars for greater safety when getting in or out of a tub or shower.
  • Teach a person with TBI to compensate for problems with thinking, such as memory impairments.

What can families and friends of a person with a TBI do?

  • Become educated about the recovery process of a family member with a TBI.
  • Provide long-term support to a family member with a TBI.
  • Learn techniques to help the person with a TBI manage cognitive and physical problems.
  • Help the person adapt his or her home to accommodate the effects of a TBI.

Need more information?

A person with traumatic brain injury and his or her family likely will need long-term assistance.

Occupational therapists are trained in helping adults and children with a broad range of issues in addition to traumatic brain injury, such as arthritis, stroke, and mood disorders. Practitioners also help clients develop wellness techniques that may prevent injury and disease.

Copyright 2002 American Occupational Therapy Association, Inc. All Rights Reserved. This page may be reproduced and distributed without prior written consent.

Role of OT: Recovering From Stroke

Recovering From Stroke

(From the American OT Association: Reproducible consumer handout to further public education)

Stroke may cause temporary or permanent weakness or paralysis on one side of the body. A person who has suffered a stroke may have difficulty caring for himself or herself, such as in bathing, dressing, and managing a household or a job. Stroke can affect a person's vision, memory, speech, and muscle strength, as well as his or her ability to drive a car safely and engage in typical leisure activities.

Occupational therapists are trained in helping people lead as independent as life as possible. Occupational therapists can help stroke survivors regain their strength to again engage in daily activities.

What can an occupational therapist do?

  • Recommend equipment for the home that can aid a person in completing tasks, such as dressing, bathing, preparing meals, and driving.
  • Fabricate a customized splint to improve hand function.
  • Evaluate the home for safety hazards and adapt the home by removing hazards that could cause further injury.
  • Provide training that improves the ability to complete daily tasks.
  • Build a person's physical endurance and strength.
  • Help a person compensate for vision and memory loss.
  • Provide activities that rebuild self-confidence and self-esteem.

What can family and friends do?

  • Participate in stroke education classes to become better aware of how a stroke affects a person.
  • Encourage a stroke survivor to practice tasks to increase strength and endurance and to speed recovery.

Consult an occupational therapist about how to help a person who has suffered a stroke to participate in meaningful daily activities and tasks.

Need more information?

A person who has suffered a stroke may take months or even years to recover depending on how severe the stroke. Both the stroke survivor and his or her family should be involved in the recovery and rehabilitation.

Occupational therapists are trained in helping adults and children with a broad range of issues, such as arthritis, traumatic brain injury, and mood disorders. Practitioners also help clients in wellness techniques that may prevent injury and disease.

Copyright 2002. AOTA, Inc. All Rights Reserved. This page may be reproduced and distributed without prior written consent.

Role of OT: Developmental Problems in Children

Developmental Problems in Children
(From the American OT Association: Reproducible consumer handout to further public education)

A child with delayed development may not show behaviors and abilities that are typical of the child’s age. A child may have difficulty swallowing, sucking, and chewing; developing coordinated tongue movements for speech; achieving independence in feeding, dressing, and using the bathroom; understanding relationships between people, objects, time, and space; and developing problem-solving and coping strategies.

Occupational therapists who work with children are knowledgeable about stages of development and the appropriate milestones in a child's physical, mental, and behavioral development.

What can an occupational therapist do?

  • Evaluate the child's level of performance in critical developmental areas.

  • Observe the child’s home and school environment and determine how it may be modified to promote better development.

  • Develop a plan of treatment in coordination with other health care professionals who are treating the child.

  • Develop age-appropriate self-care routines and habits, play skills, and social skills.

  • Recommend adaptive equipment to facilitate the development of age-appropriate abilities.

What can parents and families do?

  • Stay educated about and involved in the child’s treatment plan.

  • Follow up with the treating occupational therapist and health professionals to encourage further development and track progress.

Need more information?

Children of all ages can be affected by developmental delays; such children can often benefit from occupational therapy. Occupational therapists are trained to help people of all ages with a broad range of physical, developmental, and behavioral health conditions.

Copyright 2002 American Occupational Therapy Association, Inc. All Rights Reserved. This page may be reproduced and distributed without prior written consent.