Physiotherapy

Patients work at the physical therapy department for recovery in Connaught hospital. These images were taken on the Momenta Project Sierra Leone 2015 workshop in Freetown, Sierra Leone. Photo © Katherine Wise/Momenta Workshops 2015.

Staff in the physiotherapy department in Connaught hospital. These images were taken on the Momenta Project Sierra Leone 2015 workshop in Freetown, Sierra Leone. Photo © Katherine Wise/Momenta Workshops 2015.

Working relationships with Sierra Leonean physiotherapists and KSLP began with a KSLP scoping visit in 2013, when a comprehensive needs assessment of Physiotherapy services at Connaught Hospital, Freetown, was conducted.

These working relationships are now being strengthened through the in-country KSLP volunteer physiotherapist, who began working in Sierra Leone in June 2016. The physiotherapy coordinator role is split between the Sierra Leone National Clubfoot Program and the Physiotherapy team at Connaught Hospital.

Clubfoot Service

KSLP works in partnership with Mobility Outreach International and the Ministry of Health and Sanitation to provide quality assurance across the Sierra Leone National Clubfoot Program. This involves supervising training, service delivery, and clinic evaluation of five clinics across the country. The role also includes promotion of Clubfoot care to relevant health care professionals to improve reach into unmet clubfoot needs.

Connaught Hospital

The physiotherapy team at Connaught Hospital is made up of fifteen staff, two of which are qualified physiotherapists, and the rest nurses. KSLP works within the team to improve standards of physiotherapy practice, with preliminary goals based around documentation, referrals, and teaching.

Education

There is a dearth of qualified physiotherapists working within the healthcare system in Sierra Leone. There are only two qualified physiotherapists for a population of over six million. In the short term, KSLP works to deliver training through the in-country volunteer to address immediate needs, whilst exploring the feasibility of establishing an undergraduate qualification in Sierra Leone for the longer term.

Service Mapping

The KSLP physiotherapy team began mapping services in the scoping visit in 2013. This work continues with the in-country volunteer, alongside Sierra Leonean physiotherapists, to further explore research and service development needs of physical rehabilitation in Sierra Leone.

Our in-country work is supported by a Physiotherapy Technical Advisory Group, a UK based group of clinicians and non-clinicians who are passionate about Physiotherapy in global health. The lead technical advisor is Gemma Cook (gemma.cook@kcl.ac.uk).

For more information or if you are interested in being involved please contact: info@kslp.org.uk