Occupational therapy is a critical part of Namibia's rehabilitation landscape.

The Minister of Health and Social Services (MoHSS), Dr. Kalumbi Shangula, shared the sentiments during the Occupational Therapy Africa Regional Group's 12th Congress in Windhoek.

Dr. Shangula says the field has made significant strides in areas including wheelchair seating, mental health, and hand therapy.

The occupational therapist has also played a crucial role in the establishment of wheelchair clinics and the creation of assistive devices.

Others are ensuring that patients undergo complete rehabilitation for successful reintegration into their communities post-trauma as well as hospital admission.

"The dedication of occupational health professionals to patient welfare is vividly evident in several settings of our health care system, including the Mental Healthcare Unit at the Windhoek Central Hospital, particularly in the Forensic Unit. I encourage you to engage in vibrant discussions during this Congress. Share your experiences, knowledge, and wisdom. Similarly, I urge you to collaboratively devise strategies that will shape the future of occupational therapy in Africa," said Dr. Shangula.

The President of the Occupational Therapy Africa Regional Group, Dr. Matumo Ramafikeng, highlighted the need to strengthen and establish occupational therapy in Africa.

"There is a lot that we need to do, and for various reasons, we still have countries that do not have occupational therapy services. We still have countries that do not have training programmes."

The Namibia Association of Occupational Therapists is hosting the Occupational Therapy Africa Regional Group.

The congress is critical for occupational therapy professionals across the African continent.

The four-day congress is being held under the theme "Transforming health and well-being in Africa through occupation."



Selima Henock