In all of our projects our primary aim is to build in-country capacity to produce high quality protheses and orthoses and to manage efficient orthopaedic workshops – because that is crucial to our projects’ sustainability and long-term success. Therefore sponsoring the training of new Malawian, Zambian and Zanzibari prosthetists and orthotists is the most important and a key element of what we do.
In the main, our students study for a 3-year diploma but a few have qualified with a 1-year certificate and two have qualified with a degree, with one more in the pipeline. Until quite recently, we have sponsored the training of students by sending them only to the Tanzania Training Centre for Orthopaedic Technologists (TATCOT) (www.tatcot.org) in Moshi in the foothills of Kilimanjaro. In 2013 we decided to try something new and in October that year, Rose Nyirenda from Zambia began a 3-year diploma at the Cambodian School of Prosthetics and Orthotics (CSPO) (cspo.org.kh) in Phnom Penh. This October she will be followed by Mwayi Munthali, our first Malawian student to go to CSPO. Click here to read Mark Ndagonera’s account of a day in his life when he was at TATCOT.
Both TATCOT and CSPO teach the use of polypropylene technology which is the system that we use and promote for the manufacture of prosthetic and orthotic devices in all of our projects.
Wherever possible we sponsor people with whom we already have a working relationship as a result of their having worked with us on one of our projects. Sorry but we do not accept unsolicited applications.
500 miles has sponsored the training of a total of 18 African technologists including the 6 students who are currently studying. Our students and former students are arranged in rows below with the newest student, Mwayi Munthali, first and our very first student, Isaac Zyambo, last. You can read their interesting personal profiles by clicking on their photos.