PROFESSOR ELELWANI RAMUGONDO
Professor Elelwani Ramugondo is Deputy Dean for Postgraduate Education at the Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Cape Town (UCT). She obtained both her undergraduate and postgraduate qualifications from UCT. As a newly qualified occupational therapist, she established the first Occupational Therapy Department at Tshilidzini Special School, Limpopo Province, South Africa. She returned to UCT as an academic in 1998, having served as an occupational therapist in rural South Africa and the United States of America. Professor Ramugondo’s work at UCT over the past twenty-two years has focussed on leading with integrity, recognising this to be pivotal in advancing transformation and excellence as interdependent and interlinked concepts. As Head of Division for Occupational Therapy, she led a division which became the most diverse occupational therapy program both nationally and internationally in terms of its staff and students. During this time, she also spearheaded curriculum transformation of the Occupational Therapy Undergraduate Programme. This process aimed for a graduate profile that is responsive to the local context while globally competitive. Professor Ramugondo has convened courses at both undergraduate and postgraduate levels and introduced critical decolonial pedagogical practices in teaching and research. Her approach to teaching and convening postgraduate courses has received international recognition, leading to numerous invitations to lead symposia for postgraduate students and faculty in the United Kingdom and South America. She is often invited to give keynote addresses on transforming higher education or decolonising the academy. She has supervised to completion 17 honours-equivalent research projects, 12 Masters dissertations and 7 PhD theses. Professor Ramugondo was appointed Special Advisor on Transformation to the Vice Chancellor at UCT in 2015, and later became member of the Strategic Executive Task Team, during one of the most tumultuous times in the university’s history. In these roles she participated in complex, highly charged, faculty-based and institution-wide dialogues which lead to impactful initiatives. Her ability to engage with very diverse constituencies around issues that are strongly contested within the university led to Professor Ramugondo’s nomination to be part of the university-wide Curriculum Change Working Group (CCWG) in 2016, and later to serve as its co-chair. As co-chair of the CCWG, she was instrumental in crafting the UCT Curriculum Change Framework which was released to the public in June 2018. Professor Ramugondo has also served as Chair of UCT’s Academic Freedom Committee, which hosted five successful TB Davie lectures under her leadership, bringing back esteemed public intellectual Professor Mahmood Mamdani to give the lecture in 2017.
PROF. MICHAEL K IWAMA PHD OT (C)
Dr. Michael Iwama is a Canadian Occupational Therapist of Japanese heritage. He is Professor and Chief Program Strategist in the Occupational Therapy Doctorate Division in the School of Medicine at Duke University (USA). Dr. Iwama was formerly Professor and DEAN of the School of Health & Rehabilitation Sciences at the Massachusetts General Hospital Institute of Health Professions (MGH IHP) in Boston, USA. Previously he served as tenured Professor & Chair of the Department of Occupational Therapy at Augusta University (formerly the Medical College of Georgia). He is also Adjunct Professor in the Faculty of Medicine at University of Toronto and holds similar adjunct professorial appointments at 6 universities in Canada, the United Kingdom, Australia, and Asia. This past winter, he was conferred an Honorary Doctor of Humane Letters for his lifelong commitment to service. Dr Iwama is author of the “Kawa Model” (‘Kawa’ is Japanese for ‘River’) – the first substantial model of practice in Occupational Therapy and the Rehabilitation Sciences developed through qualitative research by practitioners and clinicians, and outside the English-speaking world. The Kawa model is now taught in over 700 health professional education programs internationally and used in practice across 6 continents. Dr. Iwama has emerged as a leading thought leader in the fields of occupational therapy and rehabilitation sciences, worldwide. Iwama draws on his rich experience of acculturating into Eastern and Western social spheres of experience to drive his profound and critical perspectives on culture and its intersections with theory and practice in occupational therapy. Dr. Iwama is also a passionate and captivating communicator, and regularly sought to lecture to both local and international audiences. Since ‘The Kawa Model; Culturally Relevant Occupational Therapy’ was published, Iwama has given over 350 invited national and international lectures and over 70 Keynote and Plenary addresses at scientific and professional conferences.
Samantha graduated as an occupational therapist in 1992 and has worked in a wide range of clinical and education settings both in the UK and internationally. Samantha is the President of the World Federation of Occupational Therapists (WFOT) and within this role is WFOT’s link person to the Occupational Therapy African Regional Group (OTARG) and the Council of Occupational Therapists in European Countries (COTEC). Samantha frequently represents WFOT and the occupational therapy profession at World Health Organisation (WHO) meetings and other international events. For the last 20 years Samantha has supported the development of occupational therapy in countries where the profession does not yet exist or is in its infancy. Working in a variety of low-, middle- and high-resourced settings she has worked in a political manner to effect change at government, institutional and service level. She has provided international keynote addresses on leadership, advocacy, and the development of occupational therapy services. Presently based in the UK, Samantha practices as an occupational therapist and is a director of a private occupational therapy service. Her clinical background covers mental health services including forensics and working with ex-military personnel, rehabilitation with older aged adults and developing community-based rehabilitation programmes. She also offers consultancy to companies in the design, health, and lifestyle sectors. Samantha was previously a senior lecturer at Northumbria University in the UK specialising in fieldwork placements, and culturally relevant curricula design. She continues to teach on several occupational therapy education programmes internationally and has a particular interested in how occupational therapists and students develop and promote their professional identity. Samantha is passionate about occupational therapy and its unique contribution to how people live their lives. She is dedicated to further consolidating the professions position in driving forward the health and well-being agenda through demonstrating the value and impact of occupational therapy.
DR. PETER OWUSU NDAA
Dr. Peter O. Ndaa is the head of the Department of Occupational Therapy, University of Ghana. Peter commenced the 1st BSc. Occupational Therapy professional course in Ghana, which is the only WFOT accredited institution in Ghana and the sub region. He is the immediate past president of Occupational therapy Africa Regional Group (OTARG). Peter is an academic consultant with University of Gondar, Ethiopia and the Queen’s University, Canada. He recently conducted longitudinal phenomenological research into Occupational Therapy students’ professional identity development in an environment that had almost no OT professionals. Peter is currently coordinating a multi-national research project from Queens University, Canada involving Ghana (Ashesi University), South Africa (University of Cape Town) and Ethiopia (University of Gonder) on ‘Transitions of Youth with Disabilities in Education Systems.
DR. MATUMO RAMAFIKENG
Dr Ramafikeng is the current President of the Occupational Therapy in Africa Regional Group (OTARG), elected in 2019. She worked as an occupational therapist in mental health practice in Lesotho before joining the University of Cape Town. She is a Senior Lecturer and Undergraduate Programme Convenor in the Division of Occupational Therapy and serves on several committees within the Faculty of Health Sciences at the University of Cape Town: one of them being the Steering Committee for Global Surgery. Her areas of expertise include teaching for diversity, providing academic support in higher education, and design and delivery of occupational therapy curriculum that is contextually relevant. She is an early career researcher having obtained her PhD from UCT in 2018 and she teaches and supervises research at undergraduate and postgraduate levels.
ELLEN SERWAA ADOMAKO PHD (C)
Ms. Ellen Adomako PhD(c) is a lecturer in an occupational therapy programme in the University of Essex, Colchester UK. She received her Master of Science (Pre-registration) in Occupational therapy and Doctor of Philosophy in Occupational therapy education in the United Kingdom. She identifies as Black African, Ghanaian citizen and currently residing in the United Kingdom. Ms Ellen has been involved in the establishing and the training of students on the first Bachelor of Science occupational therapy program in Ghana. She has occupational therapy practice and research experiences both in Ghana and the UK where she worked in a Forensic Medium-secured Mental Health Unit and at the Specialist Stroke Unit at the Korle-Bu Teaching Hospital. Her research interests include the exploration of the acute mental healthcare inpatient environment impact on service users’ engagement in activities, students practice placement (role emerging) experiences, and the international and Black students experience in the United Kingdom.
ANN SENA FORDIE
Ann Sena Fordie grew up with her family of five in Accra, Ghana. She completed her bachelor’s degree in Occupational Therapy at the University of Ghana, Legon. Presently, Ann is registered and licensed as an Occupational Therapist by the Allied Health Professions Council in Ghana. Over the years, Ann has been privileged to work in a wide variety of settings including paediatric outpatients, mental health, community-based rehabilitation for adults and children with developmental disabilities and special needs and in patient acute mental hospital. She is currently the Clinical head of OT Department, Pantang hospital and Clinical Director with SENA Paediatric therapy (an NGO aimed at supporting children with disabilities with therapy services and offering teacher and parent training to facilitate inclusive education in Ghana). Ann has co facilitated a support group for adults with mental health challenges in Ghana and acted as a research assistant to a participatory action research towards social inclusion for persons with mental health challenges in Ghana. Ann has received advanced training in areas of leadership and management, World Health Organization Quality Rights in Mental Health, and childhood disorders and challenges with developmental milestones. She was also active in the development of COVID19 guidelines for occupational therapists in Ghana. Ann has been an active member of the Occupational Therapy Association of Ghana and occupies the position of President. She also is an active member of the Occupational Therapy African Regional Group (OTARG) and the World Federation of Occupational Therapy (WFOT). When not working, Ann enjoys spending time with her family, traveling, watching movies, and learning new skills.
ERIC NKANSAH OPOKU
Mr. Eric Nkansah Opoku is a senior research assistant and practice placement coordinator at the Department of Occupational Therapy, University of Ghana. Eric identifies as a Christian, Black African male, and a citizen of Ghana. He received his Bachelor of Science in Occupational Therapy education with the University of Ghana, and his Master of Occupational Therapy education with Stellenbosch University in South Africa. Eric serves as the Conference and Research Officer for the Occupational Therapy Association of Ghana and has chaired the Conference Organising Committee and the Review and Publication Committee of the association for three years now. His line of scholarship and research is directly related to occupational therapy education and practice (i.e., knowledge translation, evidence-based practice, professional identity development and clinical training); childhood disabilities and participation; cultural sensitivity and decoloniality in the context of occupational therapy education and practice. Eric teaches and supervises students’ research at undergraduate level.
MRS. NANCY SAKA
Mrs Nancy Saka is a passionate occupational therapist who works with children with varied forms of disabilities. She continuously seeks to equip them to be independent in all aspects of their lives. Over the past few years, she has been an advocate and a mouthpiece for several children she intervenes for in her field of practice, ensuring that they are enrolled in mainstream schools with the right resources and suitable environment to achieve not only academic needs but also, overall developmental needs.
Currently she works at Korle Bu Teaching Hospital. She’s the Vice President of the Occupational Therapy Association of Ghana (OTAG) and CEO of Warm Embrace Paediatric Occupational Therapy Services (WeOTs). She’s undertaking a post graduate program at the University of Ghana where she obtained her first degree in Occupational Therapy.
SYVETTELANA D. E. QUARSHIE
Syvettelana is a Level 300 Occupational Therapy Student and the current Occupational Therapy Association of Ghana Student Representative. She has great interest in and is pursuing community-based rehabilitation, inter alia, and seeks to travel worldwide in doing so. She’s into voice over artistry and has worked with OTAG (aside others) on several projects during the lockdown. Lana is purpose driven and believes Occupational Therapy is a unique profession that offers an opportunity to really share in people’s lives.
FRANCIS JUNIOR QUAYE-LARYEA
I am an occupational therapist at the stroke Unit of Korle-Bu Teaching Hospital in Ghana and serves as the deputy head of the Occupational therapy Unit of the hospital for the past two years. I have been practicing for the past 4 years. I have two years’ experience in rehabilitation where I worked mostly with children with disabilities. In March 2018, I got the opportunity to partake in the Australasian Academy of Cerebral Palsy and Developmental Medicine Biennial conference which took place in Auckland (New Zealand). During this period, I was able to work with the Cerebral Palsy Alliance-Australia to gain more knowledge and experience. I always give clients my best to ensure the growth of this noble profession in Ghana
EMELIA AKEWLEY TEETEH TIAKWAH
Emelia is a final year occupational therapy assistant student at the Accra School of Hygiene in Ghana.
ELIZABETH MIREKU OTI
Ms. Elizabeth Oti is a paediatric occupational therapist at the Korle Bu Teaching Hospital. Ms Oti has experience working with children with neurodevelopmental disabilities including Autism Spectrum Disorder, Cerebral Palsy and Down Syndrome. She is interested in pursuing further research in paediatric practice in the Ghanaian setting
PETER BREDU DARKWAH
I am a passionate, hardworking, and team player who is determined to work in any challenging position that would assist the organization in reaching its aims, through the knowledge that I have acquired during my entire education. I hold a bachelor’s degree in Occupational therapy from the university of Ghana and currently awaiting graduation for a Master of Philosophy degree in Disability, Rehabilitation and Development from KNUST. I also have a Certificate in Global Mental Health (University of Washington). My research interests cut across the areas of health and wellness, disability and rehabilitation, and general healthcare research. I have three publications in the area of public health and disability with several at various review levels with high-impact journals hoping to be published soon. I plan to mentor intelligent and persevering students who may have the same determination and background as mine. I love to swim, watch and play football and listen to music.
BENEDICTA NAA AYELEY TACKIE
Benedicta Naa Ayeley Tackie is an occupational therapy assistant with two years working experience. she graduated from the Accra School of hygiene in 2091 with a diploma in Occupational Therapy. she enjoys reading and exploring to keep abreast with new developments. she is the owner of Shades and Blendz Makeup Artistry. Benedicta uses her positive energy to encourage others to work hard and succeed. she’s inspired daily by young independent women who work hard to give themselves the best of life.