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Armenia physio education project seeks support

UK physiotherapists with links to Armenia or an interest in developing a training programme are invited to help set up the country’s first recognised physiotherapy qualification.

The work is being driven in the UK by hydrotherapy clinical specialist Heather Maling. She became interested in the potential for a formal physiotherapy qualification in Armenia after visiting a rehabilitation centre in the neighbouring Nagorno Karabakh region four years ago.

‘At the moment there are physical therapists in Armenia, but no recognised physiotherapy qualification,’ she said.

Last September  Ms Maling re-visited the Transcaucasian region on a fact-finding mission with American physical therapist Sara Takii.

Ms Takii has since founded the charity the Armenian International Institute for Physical Therapy to forge links with Armenian American-licensed physical therapists in the US. It has 150 members. 

The initial goal is to establish the first school of physiotherapy in Armenia and the organisation is working with Yerevan State Medical University in the capital to develop a three-year masters degree programme of physiotherapy that meets the World Confederation for Physical Therapy standards.

The first course is planned to start in 2009-2010. 

Those currently practising as physiotherapists in Armenia will be able to upgrade to the recognised qualification and the course will be open to those starting from  scratch with a suitable bachelors degree.

Ms Maling said:  ‘I am hoping to find UK physiotherapy connections with Armenia and interested physiotherapists who are able to take part in developing training or administering the programme.

‘The idea is that training will start in Armenia and in the longer term a school of physiotherapy will be established in Nagorno Karabakh,’ she said.

Further information

To contact Ms Maling, email physio@cheerful.com

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