Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Membership in the CDOT

Dear Future CDOT Members,

The Committee to Develop OT in Egypt members would like to extend membership to people who are interested in developing OT in Egypt. In order to have a better understanding of the history of OT development in Egypt, please read our history summary:

In order to promote for Occupational Therapy in new non-member countries, Former President of the World Federation for Occupational Therapists (WFOT), Carolyn Webster, visited Egypt and met with Prof. Dr. A-Moneim Ashour, psychiatrist and gerontologist, Professor at Ain Shams University, Head of the Department of Psycho-geriatric Research, and Founder of the International Psycho-geriatric Association (IPA) and President of the Egyptian Alzheimer's Society.

Later in 2003 and 2005, Ms. Christiane Mentrup (Germany) and Ms. Madeleine Corstens-Mignot (Netherlands) from the WFOT visited Egypt as co-leaders of the " WFOT Egypt Project", which aims to raise awareness about the OT profession and to negotiate with relevant persons in the medical, political and business arena the appropriate conditions for setting up the professional and educational programs in Egypt. The visit cumulated with a Memorandum of Understandings signed with the German University in Cairo (GUC), Ain Shams University, Ministry of Health, and October 6th University.

The Committee for Developing Occupational Therapy in Egypt (CDOTE) developed as a result of these visits and consisted of many persons and organizations who were interested in establishing OT as an independent health profession in Egypt, and in creating educational programs for OT. The CDOTE included besides Prof. Moneim Ashour, other active OT advocates, Prof. Dr. Ahmed Hassan the Head of the Physiotherapists' Syndicate; the late Prof. Dr. Naiema Hassan from October 6 University; Mrs. Laura Efinger, OT/L Head of the OT Department at the Learning Resource Center; Ms. Maha Helali, Chairperson of the Egyptian Society for Developing Skills of Children with Special Needs (ADVANCE), and Managing Director of the Learning Resource Center; and Prof. Dr. Ahmed El-Kahky, from the Higher Institute of Childhood Studies of Ain Shams University; all of whom worked towards promoting the CDOTE and maintained it after the mentioned visits.

Since that time a number of people have worked together, and individually, to forward these goals. Two occupational therapy programs have been put before the Minister for Higher Education - one is now awaiting Presidential endorsement, which is the final step before implementation. The late Prof. Dr. Naiema worked on the October 6th University undergraduate program, and Prof. Dr. Ahmed El-Kahky on that for Ain Shams University. Mrs. Susan Hartshorne, an Australian Occupational Therapist with clinical and academic experience, was appointed as the WFOT Ambassador to Egypt in 2007, and has assisted both universities in developing their curriculum. A number of short courses were conducted at the Institute for Post Graduate Childhood Studies with many people registering, indicating the level of interest and enthusiasm among practitioners.

In April 2007, the First Regional OT Conference in the Middle East was held in Cairo under the auspices of HE Mrs. Suzanne Mubarak, First Lady of Egypt. 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.

Within the area of service delivery, Ms. Maha Helali, has been employing qualified OTs at the Learning Resource Center and the ADVANCE Center for children with autism in Maadi. The LRC conducted many workshops and seminars to promote OT since 1997. The LRC Head of Occupational Therapy, Laura Efinger, who joined the LRC in 2003, has conducted many of these workshops and seminars and later established the OT in Egypt Blog (http://www.otegypt.blogspot.com/) which is well received here and in other countries, and spreads the word about OT in Egypt.

Other examples of the current employment situation of OTs in Egypt are at JICA (Japanese International Cooperation Association), through Ms. Miho Yoshida, which employs two Japanese OTs and other OTs as possible to implement community based rehabilitation services in the Delta region. Also El-Agouza Rheumatology and Rehabilitation Centre has also commenced occupational therapy services with qualified OTs from Australia and New Zealand.

It should be noted that as in any country where OT is in its infancy there are misunderstandings about what OT is-- there are people offering services that they call OT but without qualified OTs and some people have fixed ideas about what constitutes OT without the benefit of OT input.

If you are interested in becoming a member and live in Egypt, please contact any current member of the CDOTE and they will be able to send you an application via email until we can add a link to the OT blog to download applications. You can also contact Laura Efinger directly at lme1169@gmail.com and she will be able to send you an application directly.

Applications and fees can be given to any present members or completed and delivered to the Learning Resource Center. Address: 9 Road 278, New Maadi, Cairo. Telephone number: 25163965 Fax number: 25203110 Contact persons at the LRC: Maha Helali or Laura Efinger.

For further information, please visit the OT in Egypt Blog at www.otegypt.blogspot.com

Thank you,
Members of the Committee to Develop OT in Egypt


willwade said...

Interesting stuff. Im not living in Egypt (sadly!) but sounds good!
Just a brief passing thought.. Is anyone in Egypt taking foreign final year students??

sue hartshorne said...

Salam if you are interested in a final year placement you can contact me directly to discuss - sue.hartshorne@gmail.com
I am the senior occupational therapist at el agouza rheumatology and rehabilitation centre.
We have limited capacity and cannot take large numbers of students, but will consider approaches from field practice coordinators from WFOT approved programmes, especially while there are no ot programmes here that are underway.