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Ethiopia: African orthotists learn new skills

14-02-2012 News Release 12/30

Addis Ababa (ICRC) – A training course in orthotics, organized by the Fédération africaine des techniciens orthoprothésistes (FATO) in cooperation with the Red Crescent Society of the Islamic Republic of Iran, the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) and the ICRC's Special Fund for the Disabled, took place in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, from 30 January to 10 February.

The focus of the course, attended by 18 participants from eight African countries, was the use of orthotic devices to alleviate foot problems.

"The training created a forum for sharing experiences with people having different areas of expertise," said Sandra Katemba, a participant in the course from Zambia. "There were practical exercises that helped me to familiarize myself with the various designs and types of orthotic shoe appliances."

Mehrab M. Arami, one of the Iranian Red Crescent trainers, said that the course had not only enhanced the skills of the participants but also strengthened relations between the Iranian Red Crescent and its African partners. Masse Niang, the president of FATO, declared that it was likely that other similar courses would be held in the near future.

For the ICRC, it is important to promote the skills of prosthetists and orthotists. The organization runs physical rehabilitation centres in a number of countries afflicted by armed conflict, including Sudan, South Sudan and Afghanistan. In Ethiopia, the ICRC provides support for seven centres to ensure that physically disabled people have access to good quality prostheses, orthoses and physiotherapy. The centres receive staff, funds, materials and components to produce artificial limbs and other appliances.

For further information, please contact:
Zewdu Ayalew, ICRC Addis Ababa, tel: +251 11 647 83 00