NEWS FROM INDIA
OCCUPTIONAL THERAPY CORONA WARRIORS
This 2020, we have all experienced how the COVID-19 pandemic has created a storm in our lives. The deadly corona virus has spread all over the planet, keeping billions of citizens into lockdown. The WHO has declared COVID‑19 as a Pandemic on March 11, 2020. The health system worldwide is struggling to cope with the volume of the patients and deaths world over. Unfortunately, there seems to be no answer to effective treatment and or vaccination for this entirely new virus till date, though efforts are in full swing for inventing effective treatment and vaccination in many of the countries, including in India. The worldwide spread of the pandemic has almost disrupted the day‑to‑day activities of the whole world. People are facing a number of problems, be it food, medicines, masks or sanitizers and employment. The pandemic has grossly overburdened the healthcare infrastructure of even the most developed countries and is expected to cause post‑COVID severe global economic recession: An issue of great concern for all. The only tested and proven measure is breaking the chain of spread through social and physical distancing and to achieve this, the long shutdown of the countries is being observed globally.
Indian government response under the potential leadership of Honorable Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi is fast and impressive to contain community spread, though the first case was reported in Kerala in January 2020. If the statistics continue to show a relatively low infection rate, in relation to our large population, the second highest after China, then India will likely succeed in containing the pandemic.
Occupational therapists are in a strong position to advice people the measures to stay well, to maintain social/physical distance and optimal use of the technology for one’s needs. During this period of physical distancing and/or self‑quarantine, it is essential to look after mental and emotional well‑being as well as physical health considering the age and gender of every patient and their caregivers. Utilization of tele‑health services by occupational therapists is an utmost need of reaching clients. Occupational therapists in India have been advised to be readily available on the Phone, WhatsApp, and or E‑mail to address the specific queries or apprehensions of the caregivers/clients as and when needed.
All India Occupational Therapists’ Association (AIOTA) & Occupational Therapy (OT) professionals from across the country are with the government in its fight to eradicate the effects of this pandemic. About 550 members of the AIOTA are selflessly volunteering their expertise and services to the government of India as Occupational Therapy Corona Warriors, to combat the serious challenge of this century. The valued contribution and professional dedication of members, institutions and branches of the AIOTA towards serving humanity at this crucial time, is unique and will be recorded in the history of the AIOTA.
AIOTA’S COVID -19 LOCKDOWN SERIES: E-LEARNING MODULES
As a frontline organization, AIOTA recognizes the need to quickly adapt to the changing scenario by modifying our methods of service delivery, redesigning our practice setups and modes of intervention according to the principles of infection control and social/physical distancing. AIOTA is committed to coming up with practical solutions and guidelines during such crises or as and when required.
AIOTA has launched COVID-19 e-Learning long & short modules on medical, psycho-social issues being faced by the persons of all age groups including those with dysfunctions and disabilities during long staying in home due to nationwide lockdown in order to prevent spread of Corona chain. We are confident that training modules prepared by Academic Council of Occupational Therapy (ACOT) with esteemed cooperation form learned expert faculties will prove to be useful for professionals, masses and the caregivers and expected to l be welcomed by all. Following e-learning training modules have been launched on May 16, 2020 for Government of India and AIOTA & WFOT websites:
Long Modules: (30-35 Mts)
- Module 1: ‘Occupational Therapy Intervention in COVID-19’ Training Module for Trainers
- Module 2: Psychosocial Management: Impact of COVID
- Module 3: Tele-rehabilitation: Occupational Therapy Perspective during COVID 19-
Short Modules: In English & Hindi Languages (15-20 Mts)
- Handling, Self-help and Safety Skills for Children with Special Needs (CWSN) during Lockdown
- Relaxation Techniques and Stress Management during Lockdown
- Care for Elderly and Managing Physical Health during Isolation
- Ergonomics and Posture Management during Work from Home-
- Safe Occupational Therapy Practice Guidelines during COVID Pandemic
Each course would be followed by 5 MCQ'S to test the understanding. Anyone who scores above 80 % will automatically get an “ACHIEVEMENT CERTIFICATE”.
SMART CLINICAL OT EDUCATIONAL PLAN DURING COVID-19 LOCKDOWN
All India Occupational Therapists’ Association (AIOTA) is seriously concerned for current educational disruption globally due to long shutdown of the countries threatening the right to education. The need was felt to restore the education regardless of closure of institutions, through the use of technology for UG & PG education in occupational therapy. Considering these aspects, the Academic Council of Occupational Therapy has taken an appreciable initiative to prepare a document titled ‘Smart Clinical OT Educational Plan during COVID-19 Lockdown’. E-learning based on this document may prove to be an effective- smart educational tool for UG & PG education in occupational therapy in India. Principal and Head of the OT Education Programs are advised to connect with their students through this ‘Smart Clinical OT Education Program’ and technology thereby prevailing educational rhythm amongst the students.
NATIONAL COMMISSION FOR ALLIED & HEALTHCARE PROFESSIONS BILL
Union Cabinet has approved for constituting the ‘National Commission for Allied & Healthcare Professions Bill, 2020’. This professionally significant dream of occupational therapy professionals and the AIOTA, which was eagerly awaited since the last three decades, is now expected to be fulfilled soon. The proposed enactment is all set to widen the scope, brighten the education and infuse independent practice in India. The recommendations put forth by the Standing Committee has been accepted almost in totality by the Ministry of Health & Family Welfare and thereafter approved by the Committee. The Bill will be tabled in the Parliament soon, for enforcing enactment. Almost all suggestions endorsed by the AIOTA were addressed in the proposed Bill. The brief recommendations of the ‘Parliamentary Standing Committee’, in respect to occupational therapy & the AIOTA may be visited on http://aiota.org/otnews
INDIAN OCCUPATIONAL THERAPY REGISTRATION (IOTR)
The AIOTA has decided that the Academic Council of Occupational Therapy will now issue ‘Indian Occupational Therapy Registration Certificate’ (IOTR) to the members of the AIOTA, in place of the existing policy of dispensing the registration certificate for pursuing ethical & legal practice anywhere in India. The provision for issuing IOTR to the OT professionals, graduated from WFOT approved institution/universities other than India, will also be available after fulfilling the set down regulations. The members of the AIOTA possessing ‘Indian Occupational Therapy Registration Certificate’ bearing the Registration No. will be entitled to suffix IOTR. The information and guidelines are available on the AIOTA website www.aiota.org.