The Hong Kong Polytechnic University (PolyU) recently received more than HK$10 million in government funding to launch two rehabilitation-training projects in the areas stricken by the 2008 Sichuan earthquake.
The two projects, the Physiotherapy and Occupational Therapy Professional Training Support Project and the Prosthetic and Orthotics Professional Training Support Project, have been awarded approximately HK$6 million and HK$4 million, respectively, from the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) [ Government Trust Fund in Support of Reconstruction in Sichuan. They were launched by PolyU’s Department of Rehabilitation Sciences and Department of Health Technology and Informatics in collaboration with Sichuan University (SichuanU). The projects are designed to address the shortage of rehabilitation professionals required for post-quake reconstruction.
Under the projects, the two universities will jointly offer undergraduate programs in physiotherapy, occupational therapy, prosthetics, and orthotics in Sichuan. According to PolyU, the projects will not only equip local medical and nurse practitioners with the knowledge and skills to render rehabilitation services to the earthquake victims, but will also help groom a critical mass of professionals who can lead in long-term reconstruction in Sichuan.
Angelina Yuen, PolyU associate vice president and head of the department of applied social sciences, said, “Over the past year, PolyU has been working closely with SichuanU to help quake-stricken areas rebuild sustainable communities. Leveraging on the expertise of the two institutions, I am confident that the projects will further contribute to the rehabilitation and reconstruction of Sichuan and help the victims restore their normal lives.”
PolyU rehabilitation experts will teach in and help design the programs, as well as support the clinical studies of SichuanU students. The programs are expected to send forth the first batch of rehabilitation professionals in the province—40 physiotherapists and occupational therapists and 60 prosthetics and orthotics students—in 2012. PulyU says that these students will “become the backbone of future training and development of the relevant professions in Sichuan” and other areas of the Chinese mainland.