Friday, September 28, 2007

No Speech Therapy in the Entire Country

Yesterday I was asked to go and help host a lunch for some of the Zambian group because part of the group had plane delays and one of the real hosts could not get back from LR in time. I got to meet and eat lunch with the Ministers of Education, Health, Agriculture, and Justice. I mentioned to them that we wanted to bring speech pathology students to Zambia and work with at the Namwianga Mission in Kalomo, Zambia. They all smiled nicely and indicated that would be a good thing. A few minutes later the other HU people there were talking about the nursing and PA students coming when suddenly the Minister of Health said, "What we really need is speech therapy." Then he went on to talk about how they have so many marginalized citizens that cannot communicate. We talked some more about how what is really needed is training for Zambians to become speech therapists.

At the reception after the President of Zambia's speech, I asked the Minister of Health if I could write him a letter with ideas of how we could help teach Zambians to be speech therapists. He was very encouraging.

Then today Jack asked if I wanted to talk to the ministers more about my ideas at lunch at the governor's mansion. I talked with the Minister of Education about the real possibilities of us bringing faculty to teach short courses in communication disorders. He is totally in favor of the idea.

All of this is because the Republic of Zambia does not have a single speech pathologist. Not a single one.

That must change.


At 10:18 PM, Blogger Rushton said...

Sadly, this is probably the case for lots of countries, not just African ones. So many countries do not value the different child or the female child or the adult with cognitive disorders. There are many countries without "special" education because that population is either euthanized or institutionalized. This, too, must change.
BTW - Who better than you to talk to the minister of education? I'd elect you to go speak on behalf of all muggles to the minister of magic!

At 9:53 PM, Blogger Tammie's Thoughts said...

That is wonderful! I agree with are just the one to talk to the minister of edcation. God had a plan in mind when you had to stand in for someone at that dinner!

At 9:59 PM, Blogger Reagan said...

what about OTs?


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