Physiotherapy Institute ReportJune 14, 2011
The Physiotherapy Institute (PTI) was founded in 1987 by an international non-profit in Afghanistan working toward capacity building in health and economic development. They have been at work in Afghanistan since 1966.
PTI was established in order to train professional physiotherapists and to improve access to physiotherapy (PT) services in Afghanistan. There are no other PT programs in Afghanistan. In addition to a three-year training program, PTI also provides continuing education courses for already-trained physiotherapists and a special training course for physical therapy teachers. Some are now working in hospitals in the capital city of Kabul and others are working in government or non-governmental organization (NGO)-supported facilities.
One example of the help provided by PTI includes the story of a 42-year-old teacher from Kabul who came to PTI after three months of suffering from pain in her back and right leg. She could not walk properly and needed a stick for support. She had tried medication but it was not helping. She was afraid that, although she loved her job, she would no longer be able to work due to the pain. One of the physiotherapists examined her and found the problem. After two weeks of physiotherapy, the woman could walk pain-free without needing a stick for support. She learned how to prevent further back injuries and was taught some exercises to do at home. She was able to continue to work and is grateful for the difference PTI has made in her life.
Graduates of the Physiotherapy Institute are crucial to the work of the Orthopedic Workshop and Physiotherapy Center (OWPC) operating in Faryab Province, an area previously without physiotherapy services. The OWPC furthers the partner's goal of increasing the geographic area with available physiotherapy services, particularly in more remote areas of Afghanistan. There are particularly high numbers of disabled people in Afghanistan who need physiotherapy services. This is as a result of war injuries, disease, and other trauma. An estimated one out of every five households has at least one person with a disability. PTI is working to have qualified physiotherapists employed in all of Afghanistan’s provinces. They are over halfway to this goal.
PTI also has been working toward educating more female physiotherapists as well as other under-represented groups including rural students. Moreover, PTI’s program emphasizes the treatment and rehabilitation of disabled children. Teaching families how to understand and support their disabled sons and daughters reinforces and strengthens communities, while encouraging society to be more accepting of other-abled individuals.
To learn about the Orthopedic Workshop and Physiotherapy Center, another project of this partner in Afghanistan, click here: http://globalministries.org/sasia/projects/orthopedic-workshop.html
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