Training videos for Ukraine

Our colleagues from Ukraine have asked Communication Therapy International (CTI), ESLA (European Speech and Language Association) and IALP (International Association of Communication Sciences and Disorders) for support, by providing videos that give information about how to support people with specific types of communication and swallowing impairment. They are looking specifically for videos on the following topics:

  1. TBI, resulting in communication and cognitive impairments
  2. Children with Selective mutism (related to trauma)
  3. Dyslexia and/ or developmental language difficulties
  1. Dysphagia, (either paediatric or adult focused)
  2. Acquired stuttering.

The videos must be:

  • maximum 15 minutes long
  • intended for those without specialist knowledge (e.g., teachers, medics, nurses, physiotherapists, family members) i.e., not aimed at SLT/Ps  

If you have any videos that you think might be suitable and for which you have appropriate permission to translate into Ukrainian and to show in the public domain, please could you complete the Excel spreadsheet:  Ukraine training videos log.xlsx

Our Ukrainian colleagues will review the videos and, if appropriate, arrange for  translation. The videos will be uploaded to a  YouTube channel and the  links  will be made publicly available.  

Thank you CTI, ESLA, IALP

Volunteer with CTI

Helping to organise the Joint Study Day:

CTI and its sister organisations OT Frontiers and ADAPT have been running an annual study day for AHPs who have an interest in working in low and middle income countries. The next study day will be held online in 2021 (most likely a Saturday) and two volunteers are needed from CTI to support its development. No particular experience necessary and students welcome. Following recent BLM initiatives, we particularly want to encourage volunteers from diverse backgrounds to help shape this study day for the future. Email us if you have any questions.

Also, anyone with recent volunteering overseas experiences (face to face or virtual) who would like to present at the Joint Study Day in a short 15 minute presentation, please email us for further information. This is an excellent event for networking and meeting other AHPs with professional links in other countries and aims to showcase the variety of voluntary work overseas.

Opportunity to get involved with writing and producing guide to working abroad

Many of you will be familiar with our guide for AHPs preparing to work in a low or middle income country available here.

We are looking for people who would be interested in joining a steering group comprising CTI members together with our sister organisations in OT (OT Frontiers) and Physio (ADAPT) The plan is to revise the document during 2021, updating it to include changes as a result of the pandemic and Black Lives Matter issues raised by all professions. 

We are looking to our members for volunteers to help with this. We need to nominate someone by December 1st 2020 and then work would start in early 2021 coordinated an OT with huge experience who was closely involved with the original document. 

It is a great opportunity to work with colleagues from physio and OT who have experience in working abroad. Even if you have not yet worked abroad it would be helpful to have your input as we want to make it relevant for people like you!

Please do give some serious consideration to putting your name forward. We particularly welcome colleagues who are currently based outside the UK. 

Email us if you have any questions.

SLTs support Samoa measles outbreak emergency response

In December 2019, a deadly measles outbreak on the Pacific island of Samoa spread rapidly, mainly affecting babies and young children. British doctors, nurses and physiotherapists from the UK Emergency Medical Team (UKEMT), trained by UK-Med and Humanity & Inclusion (HI), travelled to Samoa to work with the Australian Medical Assistance Team (AUSMAT) to support the response.

It became apparent very rapidly that many children with oral, pharyngeal and oesophageal lesions caused by the virus were experiencing difficulties with eating and drinking. After children were stabilised and their emergency non-oral feeding methods removed, many were averse to returning to oral feeding, and babies struggled to return to breastfeeding, due to pain and scarring on their lips and in their mouths. Maintaining an oral hygiene routine with children was also challenging, putting them at further risk of infection.
In response to these challenges, HI sought the advice of SLTs to offer support to the medical team on the ground. Through networks including the RCSLT CEN Communication Therapy International, two therapists with international dysphagia expertise were identified by HI to offer voluntary remote support: Louise Edwards, who provided pre-deployment training; and Helen Barrett who coordinated an advisory group to respond to the challenges on the ground in Samoa. The advisory group consisted of six experts with experience working internationally (including in Samoa) and in humanitarian contexts, and they together produced guidance for the team in Samoa, in response to their priority challenges.
583 patients were cared for by the combined medical teams during the UK deployment and the remote SLT support was very well received. The value of SLT support in outbreak responses such as this has been recognised and the teams are currently reflecting upon the Samoa experience to ensure maximum preparedness for any future outbreak responses resulting in feeding difficulties.
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With thanks to Pete Skelton at HI and the dysphagia advisory group: Helen Barrett (Coordinator: UK/Malaysia); Louise Edwards (UK); Mershen Pillay (South Africa); Georgina Feint (UK); Emma Shah (UK); Hannah Poynter (UK) and for the support of Julie Marshall (Chair, CTI).

This article was first published in RCSLT Bulletin in April 2020 and has been reproduced with the kind permission of RCSLT.