Fulbright project focuses on rehabilitation technician education and physiotherapy practice at the Kachere Rehabilitation Centre in Malawi
Background The aim of this project was to strengthen rehabilitation technician education and physiotherapy practice at the Kachere Rehabilitation Centre in the less-resourced country of Malawi by enlarging and reinforcing the skills of faculty, administrators, and adjunct clinicians, and fostering their continuing professional development.
Methods The project was developed through a partnership with the Kachere Rehabilitation Centre (KRC), the Medical Rehabilitation College (MRC), and a US-trained physical therapist (a Fulbright Program Scholar - FPS). The elements were education of staff, faculty, and students, and administrative consultation for rehabilitation managers, educational administrators, and faculty clinicians.
Results Formal and informal participant feedback on the project was positive. It indicated a receptive audience who expanded their knowledge and willingly considered ideas to modify teaching, clinical, and management approaches for optimal patient care, enhanced clinician/ student learning, meeting curricular accreditation standards, and solving day-to-day challenges.
Conclusions The project made a positive impact on the participants, fostering their goal to parallel clinical practice and educational initiatives used by recognized international standard bearers. Lessons learned emphasized the power of partnerships, networking, flexibility, and creative thinking. For international physiotherapists, it is an underutilized opportunity to extend global outreach, scholarship, clinical practice, and academic knowledge in a less-resourced country eager to upgrade the background and skills of rehabilitation providers.