Walter Sisulu University (WSU) takes pride in being among the few universities in South Africa that currently offer the Medical
Orthotics and Prosthetics (MOP) programme at degree level.
This programme which is offered under the Faculty of Health Sciences’ Department of Rehabilitation Medicine, trains professionals in the rehabilitation of persons with restrictions of movement; mainly people
living with disability and those without disability but
need orthotic services. The head of department: Rehabilitation Medicine, Mr Luphiwo Mduzana, said; “The amalgamation of subject contents in this programme make the graduate suitable for registration by the Health Professions Council of South Africa (HPCSA). Graduating Professionals
work with the Rehabilitation Team composed of Orthopaedic Surgeons/Physicians, Physiotherapists, Occupational Therapists and Social Workers.”
Mduzana himself has always had a dream of being able to assist people living with disability. Upon matriculating in 2003, he went to study Medicine a WSU. It was during his years of study at WSU that he got a bursary to further his dreams in BSC Orthotics and Prosthetics in Tanzania, 2006. He studied at the Kilimanjaro Christian Medical College in Tanzania and finished his studies in the year 2010.
“My love for this profession is the instant gratification I get when I see a person who was seated in a wheelchair for years standing up and walking again with the aid of the artificial legs that had been manufactured by my
own hands,” he added.
Although the programme was fully accredited in 2019, by both the HPCSA and the Council on Higher Education (CHE), it took its first batch of students
in 2015 which graduated through a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between WSU and Tshwane University of Technology (TUT). Dean in the Faculty of Health Sciences, Prof Jabu Mbokazi, said; “Even though we have not been fully accredited by both bodies in the past, that has not stopped us from producing good quality graduates from the programme, we have two graduates, Zanodumo Godlimpi and Siphosethu Mgwili who invented a ground-breaking prosthetic leg which will give financial and physical relief to below knee amputation casualties.”
Siphosethu Mgwili’s innovation will allow amputees the ability to adjust their own height in their homes to their comfortable and functional height
While Zanodumo Godlimpi developed a pneumatic actuated below knee prostheses that utilizes pressurized air and pneumatic cylinder that can
plantar-flex and dorsi-flex to achieve a range of motion of 360 degrees.
Mbokazi further gloated that they do not take it lightly that they are currently amongst the few universities offering the programme at degree level such that they employed the best in the field to teach the programme.
by Anita Roji