Updating orthopaedic technology in Tanzania

The Saar-Lor-Lux environmental centre (UWZ), part of the Saarland Chamber of Crafts and Trades, is working in Tanzania as part of a vocational education and training partnership.

Since 2017, the Saar-Lor-Lux environmental centre (UWZ), part of the Saarland Chamber of Crafts and Trades (HWK), has been working as part of a vocational education and training partnership with the Kilimanjaro Christian University College (KCMUCo) in Moshi, Tanzania and the Tanzania Center for Orthopaedic Technologists (TATCOT), which is affiliated with the college. At the end of 2019, the second phase of the project began. In addition to expanding training provision in a blended learning format, the aim of this phase is also to support private workshops at a local level. The objective is also to increase the visibility of orthopaedic technical training and care options for physically disabled people in Tanzania.

By the end of 2022, the partners will have updated the Tanzanian orthopaedic technician master craftsperson training. Over a total of three years, the partners will jointly implement in-service blended learning courses so that participants are able to complete the training within the framework of distance learning. As part of the project, the intention is also to support pre-existing orthopaedic workshops and also entrepreneurs through a range of activities.

"The aim of this partnership is to increase the quality and availability of medical and technical care services in the area of orthopaedic technology," explains Hans-Ulrich Thalhofer, Managing Director of the UWZ. "This is achieved by training the local orthopaedic technology craftspeople in a more targeted and practically orientated manner." He adds that, in addition to the training, it is also important that entrepreneurs are supported in order for the knowledge gained to be applied in practice and to improve orthopaedic care locally.

In the long-term, this should improve the quality of life and integration of people with a disability in Tanzania and in other African English-speaking nations. A further aim is to support the private sector in order to develop the economic prospects for Tanzanian craftspeople. As a subsidiary of the Saarland Chamber of Crafts and Trades, the UWZ has already set up and supported projects in the context of technical vocational education and training in various countries mainly in Africa. It is currently implementing vocational education and training partnerships in Tunisia, Benin, Ivory Coast and in Tanzania. The projects are funded by the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development.

Source: saar-lor-lux-umweltzentrum.de (website of the institution), revised by iMOVE, July 2020