Occupational therapy in Seychelles

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History[edit]

Occupational Therapy is a relatively new profession in the Seychelles. The first occupational therapist on record is an American Peace Corps volunteer, Mrs Kemp, who worked at the Les Cannelles Psychiatric Hospital in the early 1970s. We know this from the records of the hospital as well as from a retired occupational therapy assistant, Mrs June Naicken. Mrs Naicken was trained in various therapeutic/creative activities by Mrs Kemp and she later went on to complete the occupational therapy assistant's training programme, working with the Ministry of Health until her retirement.

From the 70s until the mid 90s several expatriate OTs came to work in the country. They included Ms Suzie Fourie from South Africa, Mrs Radhika Kidao from India, Mrs Marianne Didner from the Swedish Volunteer Service and US Peace Corps Volunteers - Mrs Joni Fornelli, Ms JoDee Walters, Ms Marea Kuphal and Ms Marty Willis. The first Seychelloise Occupational Therapist, Mrs Marianne Choisy, returned in 1990 after completing her training in Spain. She was joined in 1996 by Mrs Fiona Paulin and in 2003 by Mrs Jacqueline Cupidon who were trained in Edinburgh, Scotland and Newcastle respectively.

The Occupational Therapy Service[edit]

Currently (March 2011) there are 2 occupational therapists and 11 occupational therapy assistants working in the Ministry of Health. Occupational therapy is available in the following areas

  • Paediatrics
  • Medical and Surgical wards, Victoria Hospital
  • Hand Therapy
  • Psychiatric ward and Day Unit
  • Psychiatric Hospital
  • North East Point Hospital (Rehabilitation)
  • Rehabilitation Centre
  • Hospice
  • Regional Home for the elderly
  • Community

Occupational Therapy Education[edit]

Seychelles is one of the few countries which has run certification programmes for OT Assistants. Three batches of OTAs completed the 2 year training in 1990, 2003 and 2005.

In 2010, 15 students were enrolled on a 3-year programme in Occupational therapy which will lead to a diploma in OT. The programme is run by 2 expatriate Occupational therapist/tutors (from the Republic of Ireland and India) who are supported by the staff of the National Institute of Health and Social Studies and clinicians from the Ministry of Health. The Seychelles Occupational Therapy Association is working with the World Federation of Occupational Therapy (WFOT) to ensure that this programme meets the minimum standards for OT education set by the WFOT.

Seychelles Occupational Therapy Association (SeyOTA)[edit]

Founded in 2009, Sey OTA is an associate member of the World Federation of Occupational Therapists(WFOT)[1]. It is a non-profit professional association committed to the advancement and promotion of Occupational Therapy (OT) in the Seychelles and dedicated to the education and professional development of Occupational Therapy personnel.[2]

References[edit]