CURE Malawi’s First Physiotherapist!
Janet has recently joined CURE Malawi’s Physiotherapy team. She has been at CURE since hospital first opened their doors in 2003!
Janet is not only a special person who works for CURE, but has recently become CURE Malawi’s first physiotherapist trained while working for CURE! We asked her to tell us how she has achieved her goals—moving from Rehab Assistant to a fully qualified Physiotherapist!
Janet started telling us her story from the very beginning. “CURE has been so supportive all the way. When I was a Rehabilitation Assistant, I had to go back for training to be a Rehabilitation Technician. After working for a while, I decided that it was too broad. A Rehab Tech does physiotherapy, but then also a bit of occupational therapy and speech therapy. So, I wanted to focus in one direction: physiotherapy.”
“I interviewed for a position at College of Medicine and, fortunately, I was picked and government-sponsored for the physiotherapy course!” said Janet.
Despite being sponsored, students are still expected to pay the fees. Janet spoke with Stuart Palmer, CURE [Malawi’s] Executive Director at the time, and he said, ‘Janet, we can’t send you now. We don’t have the funds, and if we replace you, we’ll need to pay that person. Let us find the funds first, then you go, or you can go another year.”
When Janet was offered the place on the course, the fees were cheap. She decided to take the opportunity and start the course. Just after two months into studying, Stuart said, ‘Okay, we can support you.’
CURE gave Janet her basic salary, and had the agreement that during school holidays, Janet would come back work at CURE during the weekends.
Janet trained for five years from 2011-2016. During this time course fees doubled after the first year, but if Janet wasn’t government-sponsored, then it would have been much more expensive.
We asked Janet what her experience has been like working at CURE, and she told us some of the things she appreciates about working at CURE Malawi.
“CURE has been very supportive. If they didn’t pay me my basic salary, it means my kids, my family, and people who depend on me would have suffered. They would have gone through a tough time, but because CURE supported me that was easy to manage.”
She explained to us that when she was at school, she felt like she was missing something at CURE and was desperate to return!
“Working with kids is very fun and kids improve a lot faster than adults. For example, take a child with clubfoot. You see a newborn baby that has just been born with clubfoot, but by the end of three or four months, it will have changed. You can see the feet coming out straight and that gives you satisfaction. This is nice. You can see it spiritually with parents moving from one level to another because sometimes when they first come in, they think their child has been bewitched. However, when they see their child walking, both the parent and the medical practitioner, all of you are satisfied to say, ‘Ah this is good.’
We’re so thankful for Janet and admire all the hard work that she has put into both her job at CURE and her education. Our Physiotherapist team at CURE Malawi does such a wonderful job of helping our kids and we’re so grateful for all they do!