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City alumni to set up Speech and Language course in Ghana

Course will train the latest generation of speech and language therapists in Ghana and provide further support for those with communication disorders

by George Wigmore (Senior Communications Officer)

Ghanaian Speech and Language Therapists (SLT) who trained at City have returned to the institution for support around setting up the first course to train speech and language therapists in the African country.

With only five SLTs currently in a country with a current population of around 25 million, the alumni-run two-year Masters course will train the latest generation of speech and language therapists in Ghana and provide further support for those with communication disorders. The programme is due to start in August 2016.

To further explore setting up the course, in March 2016 Josephine Ohenewa Bampoe – one of the Ghanaian SLT alumna – visited the School of Health Sciences to seek support for the University of Ghana’s development of its programme and a possible collaboration with City. The other members of the team include Clement Amponsah, Nana Akua Owusu and Karen Wylie, an Australian Therapist.

The relationship first started in 2005-6 when the Ghanaian Ministry of Health, on behalf of the University of Ghana, sent three linguistics and sociology graduates to train as SLTs at City. Two of the three graduates have now completed their training and are employed by the University of Ghana together with an SLT who also trained at City several years ago whilst living in the UK.

As part of the visit Josephine also explored the idea of a partnership between City and the University of Ghana to further strengthen links. This would involve the sharing of programme specifications and clinical handbooks with University of Ghana, as well as by mentoring and working with the team about ways that the profession of speech and language therapy can be made relevant to the needs of services for communication disability in Ghana.

Speaking about the course and the visit to City, Josephine said:

“Training for SLTs has been under discussion in Ghana for a number of years but building a programme of training for speech and language therapy is not a simple process. In recognition of the need for SLTs and improved services for communication disability, Ghana has invested in the development of the SLT profession and through the establishment of a two year full-time Masters in Speech and Language Therapy we hope to be able to train the next generation with the aim of improving the services for people with communications disabilities in Ghana.”

The team in Ghana is keen to continue building its collaborations with people and institutions interested in working with University of Ghana, so please contact do ughana.slt@gmail.com for more information

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