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Second Year Occupational Therapy Student Visits Africa

Second Year Occupational Therapy Student Visits Africa

Published: Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Second year Occupational Therapy student Paul Abbey and Occupational Therapy faculty member, Mary Isaacson, accompanied OU-Tulsa’s Center for Creation of Economic Wealth (CCEW) team to Swaziland, Africa to work with The Luke Commission (TLC), an agency that provides comprehensive healthcare to rural areas.  Swaziland has the highest rate of HIV/AIDs in the world. Through established organizational values and an inclusive culture, TLC has been largely successful at improving health conditions in Swaziland.

Earlier in the year, Paul Abbey worked on an interprofessional team and helped to develop expansion recommendations for TLC allowing them to scale impact significantly; providing cervical care to 20,000 Swazi women per year and basic health services to 50,000 patients per year in another country in Southern Africa. Over the course of four months and through extensive research including 20 expert interviews, the interns developed a two-prong approach, which included adding cervical care services to the mobile hospital and long-term geographic expansion to another country in the region. Paul and the CCEW team presented these recommendations in-person.  An addition, Paul and Dr. Isaacson assisted with two clinic days, and explored the potential for future rehabilitation services, making suggestions and recommendations to the TLC staff.