The Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs along with ICRC previously provided training at ISPO Category II level (lower limb prosthetics and lower limb orthotics) as a stand-alone course that qualified graduates in 2005.
Commencing in March 2010, the new course was developed following recognition by a number of actors that services for people with disabilities in Ethiopia need to expand with additional trained personnel. The clinical workforce providing assistive technology services for amputees and those with limb or spinal disabilities is not large enough to meet the need nationally. Ethiopia is a low income country with a population of 91.73 million (World Bank Data). It has an estimated population of 458,650, or 0.5 %, requiring assistive technology, but only 5 – 15% of this need is met through current levels of service provision.
The OTVETC training program has been established within the Black Lion National Rehabilitation Centre, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia and forms part of a longer term plan to improve access to assistive technology services across Ethiopia. Students on the program are recruited from several provinces and are expected to return to work in 9 physical rehabilitation services that have been established. Services now reach persons with disabilities in the civilian population as well as war veterans.
The plan is to continue to build and deliver the course to provide the entire scope of teaching/learning at ISPO Category II level and to add Spinal Orthotics, Upper Limb Prosthetics and Orthotics and Complex Cases to the two existing modules Lower Limb Prosthetics and Lower Limb Orthotics.