According to the Head of Department of Orthotics and Prosthetics, Professor Elsie Effah Kaufmann, the tour was to strengthen the partnership between OTC and her department and UHAS in general. It was also to introduce the students to the world of work in their specific field of study and “ensure that the students are able to relate with equipment and the working environment,” she stressed.
Prof. Kaufmann also hinted that the University is in the process of starting a graduate programme in Rehabilitation Sciences. In response to a request made by Rev. Sister Newman, Prof. Kaufmann also assured the Centre that the University could make available some speech therapists to assist in the work being done at the Centre.
Students were conducted round all the various departments of the Centre including the workshops and a day-care for children suffering from cerebral palsy. At the workshop, students had first hand exposure to equipment and processes of making prostheses, chopart, artificial legs and arms, callipers, splints and crutches.
The Centre was established in 1961 by Brother Tarciscius de Ruyter, a Divine Word Missionary (SVD) of the Roman Catholic Church from the Netherlands to cater for polio patients at the time, because poliomyelitis was very prevalent in those days. The facility now provides manufacturing of orthopaedic shoes, shoe prostheses, leg braces and artificial limbs for patients in Ghana and neighbouring West African countries. OTC also operates a mobile clinic to every area across the country to expand access to its services.
In order to sustain the work of growing more professionals to provide care in this specialised area of healthcare, the Centre started the Br. Tarciscius Prosthetics and Orthotics Training College in 2012 to train technicians and other professionals in Prosthetics and Orthotics. The College offers a three-year diploma in Prosthetics and Orthotics.