Category Archives: News

Meet the volunteers from Operation Groundswell

Some OTC management Members with volunteers form Operation Groundswell

Some OTC management Members (Mr. Larbi Henry and Mr.Ohene  Kofi ) from left, with volunteers form Operation Groundswell

Operation Groundswell is a Canadian nonprofit nongovernmental organization that facilitates educational programs and service programs throughout the world. Their mission is to change the way the world travel, hence they backpack with purpose (this is about being conscious and critical of their impact on the community they travel to). Operation groundswell has been in Ghana for the past nine years. Every summer the students come to Ghana to learn our version of global health. This year is their sixth year of Global Health Program, and their program focuses on the different issues facing society they go to. They facilitate workshops that challenge the individual to think critically and objectively about the real meaning of change or making a difference.

OTC has been receiving visitors from both far and near since the center started, all with different missions and from different backgrounds, countries and even language. On 24th July, 2015, we received student volunteers from Operation Groundswell. They were here in Ghana to spend 6 weeks. They will spend their first week in study of urban health care in Accra; the subsequent weeks in application of their knowledge in Cape Coast and Sandema, both as interns and volunteers respectively. OTC was the last stop for their Accra trip.

The co-coordinators of this year’s program, Sarindi and Rebekah visited OTC on 3rd July, 2015, to enquire about, and request their teams visit to the center. They told the management their team will be coming to study about disability and accessibility at OTC on the 24th of the month. Sarindi and Rebekah told OTC that they chose the center because disability is a very important issue in health, they did not want to focus on the medical aspects of health alone. They want the students to get a comprehensive understanding of health. Also, they said in their interview with Gloria that, they selected the center for the reason of its holistic approach to disability and that is very exciting for them to see. Sarindi and Rebekah want to clear the teams’ preconceived notions of what health in Africa and Ghana is like, hence they want to break the stereotypes down and give the students a whole different point of view to health.

The team on the 24th of July 2015 came, and were shown around the center. After their tour, they went to the school where they were welcomed by Mr. Ohene Kofi the general manager of OTC, then lectured by Ms. Rachel Oduro the center’s physiotherapist and Mr. Henry Larbi on what we do at OTC, and disability and accessibility in Ghana.

After everything Rebekah and Sarindi told us they were very thrilled about the way the center educates the mothers on how to bring up their children with disabilities. Also how we have all these services necessary for our clients in one place is incredible to them. They liked the fact that we have a school that is formalizing our training and getting more people involved professionally in this field. Finally the team leader, told OTC that their questions where all answered and they like the way Gloria put a face to the success of defying cultural stigmatization.

OTC wishes them well as they go out there to practice all they have learned. Farewell Operations Groundswell.

Pricelessmom Foundation visits OTC

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We were honored to receive delegates from Pricelessmom Foundation, an NGO that seeks to improve the lives of women through empowerment, advocacy, and seminars. After meeting OTC for the first time at the Yak-Dan Tennis Clinic in Kumasi, Pricelessmom wanted to know more about OTC and what we do. On 9th July, 2015, four people from the foundation paid the center a visit to see how they can work together with OTC to help the mothers in the center.

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The delegates fell in love with the center after they toured, the workshop, the school, the children’s department and the backcompound where the mothers who have brought their children for rehabilitation are housed. Their excitement grew when they were told about the mobile clinic which is a means of reaching the poor and patients that cannot make it to Nsawam due to various reasons.

After the tour, the principal of the college, Mr Henry Larbi and Sister Magdalene Umoh SSND, discussed the way forward with Pricelessmom. This is the beginning of a promising relationship. The foundation was happy to come around, and be part of a big family that has set out to break barriers to disability, unleash the potentials of persons with different abilities and make the world a better place. We hope to see them soon with their tools and all hands on deck.

Head Teacher of OTC Becomes Queen Mother

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On May 8, 2015 our headteacher Vivian Opeku was enstooled as Queen Mother of her village Liati in the Volta Region. Vivian will now be known as Queen Mother Mama Agoe II.

On May 22, 2015 Queen Mother Mama Agoe II was escorted to the Orthopedic Training Centre by the elders and Chief Torgbe Kpordze II to greet the staff and children.

Vivian has been at the OTC since 2002 and will retire from the teaching service next year.

We congratulate Queen Mother Mama Agoe II and wish her well as she assumes her new responsibility for her traditional area.

 

Our Muslim Brothers Visit and Donate to the OTC

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The FIRDAUS Foundation for Social Services paid a visit to the OTC on May 23, 2015. This foundation has visited before and they are very interested in assisting us with sponsorship of children. A donation of ₵5,000 was presented to the director, Sister Elizabeth SSND, for the sponsorship of ten children. The group had just returned from Turkey where fifty members met to discuss ways of assisting those in need. The FIRDAUS Foundation is working hard to connect the OTC with members from other countries who expressed an interest in our work.

This Foundation has also made arrangements that a bore hole will be supplied to Tarsikrom where we have 36 bungalows for our staff. This will be a great relief from the water problem that everyone is experiencing in Ghana.

We are grateful to our Muslim community for the help they have given and for their plans to continue to assist us.

MIVA gives grant of €14,969 toward the purchase of a new van for the Mobile Unit

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It is very important for the OTC Mobile Unit that they have a good, reliable van as they travel throughout Ghana. Each year the Mobile Unit sees over 3,000 patients and travels over 20,000 kilometers. We are grateful to MIVA for the support in purchasing this new van

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With the new van delivered, the management of the OTC had the old 2006 van repaired, sprayed and fitted with new tires and presented to the Brother Tarcisius svd Prosthetics and Orthotics Training College. It will help the college when they need to go to meetings, shopping and have a small group outing.It is hoped that one day they will be able to acquire a 60 passenger bus for  the students.

Comfort retires after 33 years of service to OTC and Hitomi returns to Japan after volunteering for two years

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The women staff members organized a farewell for two members of the physiotherapy department. Mrs. Comfort Sogbo has been a member of staff for 33 years, she has worked as a physiotherapist. Comfort spent most of her years working with the late Brother Tarcisius svd. She has served the OTC well and will be greatly missed.

 

DSC_0656MS. Hitomi Isogai is a member of JICA (Japan International Cooperation Agency) and has been assigned to the OTC for the last two years. Hitomi is a physiotherapist with ten years’ experience. We were very happy for the services she offered to our patients and the gifts she shared with the staff. She will now return to Japan. We are very happy that JICA will send another physiotherapist in September to the OTC.

Mary, Mother of Good Counsel students spend May Day with OTC children

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On the 2nd of May, 2015, (May Day), 62 students and teachers from Mary, Mother of Good Counsel came to spend the day with the children of OTC. It was a day when the children from the school could mingle with and understand a little better the children of OTC who live with a physical challenge. For many it was the first time of being that close to another child who had lost his or her leg or who needed aids in order to walk. I think it was a day of mutual understanding.

The children shared a meal together but what really got them to interact is when they challenged each other in a game of soccer. Sports does have a way of breaking down barriers. It was a great game and they all got involved in playing or cheering.

The students and teachers gave a very generous donation for the OTC. I am sure that the students had a lot to talk about as they rode back to Accra. We are grateful to the teachers for giving the students the opportunity to be with us for the day.

 

Ghana Fire Department help OTC with water

For several weeks now we have experienced a shortage of electricity and water. We thought we were prepared for such an emergency as we have several underground tanks that harvest rain water and two boreholes. Needless to say, during the dry season when you do not have rain and when the water from the town is very little, it takes no time to have a water crisis.

For the water company to pump water, they require several hours of uninterrupted electricity which they say they have not received. So now the dilemma is how to get the electricity company to supply them with what they need to pump to the town.

Ghana Fire DepartmentToday the Municipal Chief Executive came to see me after I had called him several times to ask for help. I explained that we needed water and if something is not done (for us and everyone else) we would be at risk again of a cholera epidemic. So thankfully, he sent the fire department who were able to pump water into our tanks. We pray they return tomorrow with a few more tankers so we can make sure we have enough for a few days.

From what we have seen in the papers, it seems like the electricity problem will be with us for several months which unfortunately, the continued use of the generator and tanks will certainly put a strain on our budget.

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Breaking the gender barrier

When the Brother Tarcisius Prosthetics and Orthotics Training College opened its doors to receive its second class, we were happy to have eight women who qualified to enter the diploma program.

They will be the first women Prosthetic and Orthotic Technologist when they graduate in 2017.  We are very happy that this field is now opened to women and that women now see themselves as capable of being in this field.

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Miss Ghana Foundation donates to Nsawam Orthopedic Training Centre

Miss Ghana Foundation donates to Nsawam Orthopedic Training Centre
The Miss Ghana Foundation has donated items worth thousands of Ghana cedis to the Orthopedic Training Centre at Nsawam in the Eastern Region.

The donation forms part of a series of charity activities for the year.

Items including noodles, cereals and beverages were donated to the facility.

The exercise was also in fulfillment of Nadia Ntanu, the reigning Miss Ghana Brand Ambassador’s resolve to continue from where her predecessors left off by strengthening the Foundation’s goals of ensuring such laudable projects are sustained.

Nadia spent the day at the facility interacting with the patients and trying to understand their individual needs; the over 200 patients were entertained and treated to a special buffet.

“I am glad we came here today to do this. As little as it is, I believe it serves a purpose and also marks the beginning of a long-lasting relationship,” Miss Ntanu said.

And to make good an earlier promise, the Miss Ghana Foundation would work closely with the facility, together with Miss Ntanu, to raise funds for its effective running.