Physiotherapy In Ghana

 Physiotherapy in Ghana



WHAT IS PHYSIOTHERAPY?

Physiotherapy or Physical Therapy is the provision of services to people and populations to develop, maintain and restore maximum movement and functional ability throughout the lifespan. It includes the provision of services in circumstances where movement and function are threatened by the process of aging or that of injury or disease. The method of physical therapy sees full and functional movement as the heart of what it means to be healthy.

 

Physical therapy is concerned with identifying and maximizing movement potential, within the spheres of promotion, prevention, treatment and rehabilitation. It involves the interaction between physical clients, families and caregivers, in the process of assessing movement potential and in establishing agreed upon goals and objectives using knowledge and skills unique to physical therapists.

HISTORY OF PHYSIOTHERAPY

Physical therapy has its origins in ancient history with the advent of physical treatments and massage in china circa 2500BC. Hippocrates described massage and hydrotherapy in 460BC.

The modern practice of physiotherapy was developed in London in 1986, believing hospital patients needed to be massaged on a regular basis in order to maintain adequate muscle function and mobility. This special interest group grew rapidly and in 1920 the Chartered Society of Physiotherapy was formed in the United Kingdom. Similar organizations developed in other countries including the USA.

 
The care and rehabilitation of large numbers of amputees resulting from the world wars of the early 20th century, as well as care of patients suffering from diseases such as polio galvanized the development of physical therapy worldwide. One of its principal advocate was Sister Elizabeth Kenny, an Australian nurse who made great impact on the profession during the 1930s and 1940s.


THE PHYSIOTHERAPY PROFESSION

Physiotherapy is a healthcare profession which involves patient evaluation through the administration of physical and/or extent of injury prior to the use of physical modalities for preventive and therapeutic purposes. Physiotherapists perform tests to assess patients; joint motion (goniometry), strength and endurance of muscles(dynamometry), joint stability(arthrokinematics), walking(gait) pattern, functional ability (physical work capacity); function of the heart and lungs (cardio respiratory fitness), integrity of sensation and perception (sensorimotor status), need and use of braces (orthoses and prosthesis), and performance of activities required in daily living.

The treatment administered by Physiotherapist include the use of therapeutic exercise (to increase strength, endurance, co-ordination and range of joint motion), heat (infra red radiation, shortwave and microwave diathermies), ultra-violet radiation, ice (cryotherapy), electricity (transcutaneous electrical stimulation), sound (ultrasound), water (hydrotherapy), direct medicine to introduce medicinal ions into the skin and mucous membranes (iontophoresis), manual therapy, electro-acupuncture and cold laser.

Physiotherapists also provide educational services to prevent the incidence of physical disability and movement dysfunction. During treatment, the Physiotherapist monitors the patient’s performance and modifies the treatment plan in the light of the patient’s responses and goals. Apart from these services, Physiotherapists engage in research to develop more effective treatment or methods of evaluation in order to improve patient care. Cognitive scientific knowledge is the flesh of physiotherapy; while psychomotor skills and effective traits constitute the soul of the profession. Researchers from several parts of the world are contributing immensely to the body of physiotherapy knowledge. The major areas of focus in current physiotherapy research include:-

· Neuromuscular re-education

· Musculoskeletal re-education

· Cardiovascular and cardiorespiratory research

· Management of acute and chronic pains

· Kinesiological and Biomechanical studies of Human motion in normal and pathological conditions

· Energy costs in ambulation

· Wound healing, both in chronic and acute stages
 

PHYSIOTHERAPY IN GHANA

Mrs. Price, a British physiotherapist commenced physiotherapy in Ghana in the early 1940s. Physiotherapy started in the nation’s Premier Teaching Hospital (Korle-Bu Teaching Hospital ), in Accra. In the early 1960s, Mrs. Price arranged for one male nurse to be sent to the U.K. for degree training in physiotherapy. After successfully completing the course, he came back and worked in Ghana with Mrs. Price. Government further sponsored other students for degree training in physiotherapy in the U.K. in the late 1960s. In 1963, Mrs. Price moved to Kumasi to commence a physiotherapy unit at Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital (KATH), another government facility in Ashanti Region of Ghana. Around that time, Ministry of Health gradually and systematically extended physiotherapy to other Regional Hospitals.

In 1974, nine (9) and in 1975 twenty-two (22) students were respectively sponsored by Ghana government to Romania to pursue physiotherapy at first degree level. In 2000, fifteen (15) and in 2001, three (3) students were also respectively sponsored by Ghana government to the Netherlands to study undergraduate physiotherapy.

The Ministry of Health also started revamping physiotherapy services nationwide in 1997. Presently, every Regional Hospital has a complete ultra-modern physiotherapy unit.

Physiotherapy training started at University of Ghana in 2001. Five batches of physiotherapists have been churned out since the inception of the training locally. This has beefed up the number of physiotherapists in the Country - the first set of thirteen physiotherapists graduated in 2005.

THE GHANA ASSOCIATION OF PHYSIOTHERAPISTS (G.A.P.)

The Ghana Association of Physiotherapists was founded at the Korle-Bu Teaching Hospitalin 1975 to protect and to promote the interest and welfare of physiotherapists, their clients and the general public in Ghana. Some of the founding members were;

The late Dr. Akuetteh Lamptey, Mrs. Rose. Antwi, Mrs. P. Amewudah, Mrs. Patricia . Awadzi and the late Mr. Commey.

G.A.P is an umbrella organization for all qualified physiotherapists in Ghana. It is led by a seven man elected executive i.e. President and Vice; General Secretary and Vice; Financial Secretary, Treasurer and Organizing Secretary.

The Association has a code of professional ethics which is binding on all members. It defines the general moral principles and rules of professional conduct for all physiotherapists. It also spells out the sort of sanctions that may be applied in case of proven professional misconduct.

Registration with G.A.P is mandatory for all persons practicing in Ghana. It became a member of the World Confederation for Physical Therapists (WCPT) in 1999.

Contact us

Ghana Physiotherapy Association, Accra

Website: http://www.physioghana.org

Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Tel: +233(0)248186060, +233(0)203938866 ,

         +233(0)263995877

Executives

Samuel Kweku Wie-Otoo President
Alberta Rockson Vice President
Christopher Afu Gen. Secretary
Woyram Abla Kofi-Bediako Dep. Gen. Sec
Cinderella Agudzeamegah Financial Sec
Ebenezer Addo Treasurer
Sheila Klufio Organizing Sec