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Ethiopia: New orthopaedic technicians complete their training

29-04-2013 News Release 13/81

Addis Ababa (ICRC) – Disabled people in Ethiopia are set to benefit from an increase in the number of professionals available to treat them.

Twenty-three orthopaedic technicians graduated today in Addis Ababa from a three-year training programme jointly run by the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) and five government institutions.

"The graduates will help alleviate the shortage of skilled manpower and improve availability of services for people with disabilities," said Ariane Tombet, head of the ICRC delegation in Ethiopia, at the graduation ceremony.

"This is the first time that the training of orthopaedic technicians has taken place in such an organized manner in Ethiopia," said Ato Remadan Ashenafi, State minister of labour and social affairs.

The ICRC contributed to the programme by providing supplies and financial support and by participating in the teaching. The training took place at the national rehabilitation centre of the Addis Ababa University Medical School. "The new training centre, which has everything that is needed, was conducive to focused study and practical training," said Ashenafi Wakowoya, one of the graduates. "Thanks to the ICRC instructors who shared their experiences with us, I now feel more confident in my skills," said Elizabeth Mersha, another graduate of the programme.

The training programme was launched in March 2010 after a memorandum of understanding was signed by the ICRC, the Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs, the Ministry of Education, the Medical Faculty of Addis Ababa University, the Ministry of Health and the Addis Ababa Technical and Vocational Education Training Agency. It was agreed that 40 orthopaedic technicians, including today's graduates, would be trained in two rounds.

"Preparation is well under way to admit and train over 24 further students in the second round, which will begin in June of this year," said Franck Joumier, the ICRC's training coordinator in Ethiopia.

The ICRC has been providing support for physical rehabilitation centres in Ethiopia since 1979. It is currently supporting seven centres in the country.

For further information, please contact:
Zewdu Ayalew, ICRC Addis Ababa, tel: +251 11 647 83 000