Tag Archives for " allied health professionals "

On Safari – AFLAR Rheumatology Updates – Nairobi

Back from the AFLAR Nairobi Rheumatology Updates. Hard work, but enjoyable and successful.  I presented my “Foot Problems in Arthritis” talk to the Allied Health Professional’s Workshop and the formal Regional Rheumatology Symposium.

An ‘on safari’ report was intended, but my laptop was attacked by Trojan Horse and worm viruses, after picking them up from the generic computer we used for the workshop. Fortunately the IT expert at my hotel was able to clean the flash drive and I just shut the computer down. Now all is clean and healthy again.

Andrew Clarke receiving a gift from Dr Andrew Juma Sulah, National Chairman, Kenya Medical Association

Andrew Clarke receiving a gift from Dr Andrew Juma Sulah, National Chairman, Kenya Medical Association

The big ‘take home ‘ message of the workshop was the need for team work in assessing and managing the effects of arthritis in any form.

The interaction between the physiotherapist, occupational therapist, rheumatology specialist nurse, podiatrist and rheumatologist; plus all the other health professionals, was highlighted by the team that came to Nairobi from Glasgow.

Their big message was that the centre of focus must always remain the patient. They also showed how their individual professions have developed extended scopes of practice to enable a massive reduction in waiting lists in Scotland, due to the screening interventions that they are allowed to do.

Despite the apparent skills shortage in Kenya – there is only one rheumatologist in the whole country – there are many skilled and enthusiastic allied health professionals plus other doctors such as GP’s, physicians and orthopaedic surgeons interested in getting involved with managing arthritis. I met many of them during the week.

Delegates at the Regional Rheumatology Symposium

Delegates at the Regional Rheumatology Symposium

Additional talks were on ‘Arthritis, feet and podiatry’ and ‘Footwear for problem feet’. In the practical sessions, delegates were shown how to make a basic insole and use padding onto the foot and into the shoe. More on this another time.

Oh yes. Traffic. I will never complain about Johannesburg traffic jams or driving again. The rush hours are gridlock in extremis; unbelievable.

Thank you AFLAR for the invitation and Roche Pharmaceuticals for the financial assistance.

Rheumatology Updates:Fame At Last – An Ego Polished – Silence Broken

Fame is a passing thing, but all things come to those who wait! The Rheumatology Updates were originally planned for Febuary in Nairobi, Kenya. My ego was nicely polished by being invited to participate as a speaker at a 3-day workshop for Allied Health Professionals. The trip to Kenya was postponed twice due to the political unrest in that country. However last Wednesday I received confirmation that the trip is on.

The event is an initiative of AFLAR (African League of Associations for Rheumatology). The full title is The Regional Rheumatology Symposium and Workshops, Eastern African Region “Rheumatology Updates.”

Running from the 6th – 10th October there is a 3-day workshop for Allied Health Professionals, a Public Lecture (to be presented at the Holy Family Basilica Hall -the Cathedral) and the Rheumatology Updates will take place on the 8th & 9th at the Grand Regency Hotel.

I have to give three oral presentations plus two practicals at the workshops and (here’s the ego polish!) I have been invited to speak at the more formal updates on The Foot in Arthritis.

As far as I am aware, there is only one qualified Rheumatologist in Nairobi – possibly in Kenya. When I went there last year as part of a team from the Department of Rheumatology from the University of the Witwatersrand, for an AFLAR Congress, the hunger for knowledge was immense, but the resources very few. The intention is to not only impart knowledge but also to train people to provide better care to people with Arthritis.

I have also found out that there is only one podiatrist in Kenya too. A graduate of the University of Salford. Quite by coincidence I was a lecturer there in the 1970’s.

Sorry for the silence and lack of input to the site for the past month. Reasons? My associate got married and was on honeymoon, so I had to work harder! The winter respiratory dryness got me and I succumbed to a chest infection. Also got in a brief visit to my granddaughter in Hout Bay and the biggest time taker of all was setting year end examinations for the podiatry students at the University of Johannesburg.

However I can’t wait for the Rheumatiology Updates in Nairobi. As I said “fame at last, an ego polished and silence broken”.