First-of-its-kind programs launched this Year
Rawan al Nadabi
The Ministry of Higher Education, Research and Innovation recently approved two new programs; Speech and Language Pathology and Occupational Therapy, at the University of Nizwa.
The two health programs are the first of its kind in the academic educational field at the level of the Sultanate. In 2017, the university made a close study of the labor market and its needs for health rehabilitation services through statistical indicators of morbidity, population growth, and graphical distribution of rehabilitation services in Oman.
Occupational Therapy specialization is concerned with diagnosing and treating functional and motor deficiencies in addition to the psychological and mental aspects while Speech and language pathology specialization is concerned with the diagnosis and treatment of speech, language, and swallowing disorders caused by muscular, psychological or neurological diseases that affect the brain.
Dr Ahmed Al Kharusi, Assistant Professor at Rehabilitation and Allied Health professions, said to Ishraqah “In Oman, rehabilitation services are still evolving and they are available in central cities with limited scope”, adding that “ the current rehabilitation services in Oman cover widely the acute phase of injury but there is a huge demand for specialized rehabilitation post-acute services such as community rehabilitation, cardiac rehabilitation, and rehabilitation for disabled and neurological disorders”.
The two specializations are step forward in Oman’s vision 2040 in the field of education and health, Al Kharusi mentioned. “New programs will ultimately contribute to Oman's vision 2040 and health vision 2050 by identifying the need for various health education programs and will help to fulfill employment for the new expansion in health services” he added.
The national diploma students and international students showed attraction to the two new majors as they are new to the market and there is a huge demand for these specializations nationally and internationally.
Both specializations keep pace with modern health services requirements as they are based on three major analyses of a health problem; psychologically, biologically, and socially. Al Kharusi confirmed, “There are committees in the University of Nizwa that have identified new areas in health services with the high potential for developing additional new health programs. That will be announced once the study of market needs is completed”.