Going global—a BCIT prosthetic and orthotic team in India 

British Columbia Institute of Technology

Recently, two BCIT Prosthetics and Orthotics Diploma program students travelled to Koppal, India, to complete their clinical placements with the Samuha Overseas Development Association (SODA), a local NGO. One of SODA’s missions is to address the needs of people living with disabilities in the villages of South India.

The students, Malena Rapaport and Shane Bates, were joined by BCIT orthotic instructor Yvonee Jeffreys for the six-week trip. Thanks in part to the team’s efforts, Mahdi, a 24-year-old rickshaw driver with a spinal injury, was able to walk for the first time in four years. Jeffreys provided Mahdi with long-leg braces (bilateral KAFOs).

In addition to helping people improve their mobility, the team also provided training to local practitioners to ensure the continued quality of rehabilitation services.

“Our goal was to start a training manual for orthotic services,” says Jeffreys. “We didn’t want to parachute in with these services and then leave them high and dry. The idea was to create sustainability.”

BCIT’s Prosthetics and Orthotics diploma program is one of just two programs of this kind offered in Canada.

To read more about prosthetics and orthotics at BCIT, click here.