Boitekanelo gets the nod for degree in Occupational Therapy

GREAT ACHIEVEMENT : Boitekanelo College milestone

Internationally recognised program

Citizen owned health training institution Boitekanelo College has added another program to their prospectus, Occupational Therapy, which will produce first Bachelor of Arts Degree graduates in 2027.

The program was recently accredited to the World Federation for Occupational Therapists and launched last Monday at the College campus in Tlokweng.

The program was developed in partnership with several stakeholders including the University of Cape Town and Botswana Occupational Therapy Association, and Ministry of Health, said Boitekanelo College Chief Executive Officer Dr Tiro Mampane.

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He said that they have enrolled 50 students for the program, but hope to increase the number in due course and have offered two scholarships to the members, which they can study online, adding that the program is also accredited to Botswana Health Professions Council.

It emerged that the country has very few professional occupational therapists compared to the high demand for the service due to workplace injuries, road accidents, and other health conditions that may deform muscles, bones, ligaments, joints, and tendons.

The service is also needed by infants who may be born with deformities who have to wait for several years before they can be assessed and assisted.

There are only 39 Occupational Therapists in the country and mostly based on the south eastern part of the country, whilst the rest of the country have to travel long distances to receive the service in other hospitals or health facilities.

For instance, a region as big as Serowe Region has one Occupational Therapist who has to provide service to the town and its surrounding villages and settlements.

Director for Education at the World Federation for Occupational Therapists accrediting body Tecla Mlambo from University of Zimbabwe, oversaw the accreditation process until the last day leading to certification.

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She said that it took WFOT almost 12 months from submission to accredit Boitekanelo College, whilst it took almost three years to design the syllabus and all related materials.

“In terms of the benefits, once a country has a program that is accredited, it becomes a full member. In this case, Botswana was a associate member for some time because they didn’t have an accredited institution, it means it is a full member, The students are internationally recognized, can work outside the country, and can go and study or Masters Degree anywhere in the world,” she said.

She added that Botswana has voting rights in the Federation.

The training will be open to students who did bio-medical sciences or nursing.

In the SADC region SA has several accredited universities, Namibia, Zimbabwe, and several African countries.

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The team said that the program took into consideration African indigenous knowledge, cultural practices and incorporated them in the final product.

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