Rotary Club supports the Speech and Language Therapy Programme

A meeting between the School Management, Faculty members of the Audiology, Speech and Language Therapy Department of the School of Biomedical and Allied Health Sciences and the Rotary Accra South Club was successfully held to deliberate on a proposed support for airfares for the external faculty invited to come, teach and support speech and language therapy (SLT) courses for which local staff have limited capacity. 

The Presence of the Rotary Accra South Club was to familiarize with students and faculty and to ascertain the running of a Speech and Language Therapy Programme whilst waiting for the memorandum of understanding which is in the process of being ratified.  Rotary Accra South was selected as partners by Rotary Parker Club in Colorado, USA, the initial Club that offered to fund the SLT Programme.

The meeting was chaired by Prof.R.K. Gyasi who stood in for the Dean of SBAHS.  The Head of Department of Audiology, Speech and Language Therapy, Dr. Anim Sampong, indicated that the Rotary Club – Accra-South had agreed to partner with Rotary Parker, Colorado to support the Programme.  He also said, aside members of the Rotary Club familiarizing themselves with the Programme, their presence was to also discuss how to get the MOU which has been forwarded to UG signed for active work to begin.

On her part, MS Nana Akua Owusu, a Speech and Language Therapist and Clinical Tutor with the Department said; the MOU had been forwarded to the Main University. According to her, the idea for the Programme started some 5years ago although the first cohorts of students were recruited in August 2016. She stressed that, the main reason for requesting support from the Rotary Club was to assist with the airfares of external faculty to supplement the efforts made by the Australian High Commission who have agreed to take care of the living expenses of the external faculty invited to support the programme.

The President of the Accra-South, Rotary Club, MS Fitnat Adjetey said she received the MOU as part of her handing over notes. According to her, further approach by Ms. Owusu got her to revisit the MOU and also to review it. She expressed confidence in the current state of the MOU and said the Rotary Club is happy to extend a helping hand in the training since education is part of their target areas. She said it will be a good idea to have some basic statistics on the general impact or effect of the Programme on the community and that, even after the collaboration with the Parker Club, Rotary Accra South Club may continue to support the programme.

She added that  in future arrangements could be made for funds to be raised to cater for annual visits of external faculty.

The President concluded by saying; the School and Department need to put in much effort in getting the MOU signed as early as possible.

Alex, the current Project Manager of the visiting Rotary team, implored on stakeholders to take the issue of conducting an in-depth survey seriously. Since According to him, that will help identify the actual impact of the programme on the community and assist in measuring the value of the programme and their role in ensuring its sustainability

On other areas, Ms. Owusu did a little advocacy for the vulnerable groups with speech and language issues and requested for the extension of the services of Rotary Club to them. She indicated the willingness of the department to embrace the call for the survey to determine the impact of the programme on communities. She also made mention of a challenge for other disability groups and workers in the country accepting communication disability as an identified group of persons with disability.   This brought up a suggestion for the department in collaboration with Rotary Club to consider running a programme for Parliament house in order to arouse their interest in the areas of audiology, speech and language therapy.  It was suggested that the Department could develop a programme to test the hearing of persons in Parliament as an introduction to raising awareness and paving the way for support on policies in this area of disability.

A brief Interaction between the Rotarians and some of the students and faculty took place in the Department’s lecture hall which saw a lot of contributions from the students and encouragements from the Rotarians for students to take advantage and present their research findings at future Rotary meetings.

 

PR Desk, SBAHS-2017