An occupational therapist is one of the most sought-after health professionals in Namibia, more so in Oshana Region where there are only two occupational therapists.

Occupational therapists are very few in Namibia because historically occupational therapy was a career reserved only for white people.

Mrs Hannah Kambowe, the Chief Occupational Therapist for Oshana Region, says that this needs to change – and it needs to change urgently.

Kambowe was speaking today at a career exhibition held at Klein Kuppe Private School in Ongwediva, where government and private institutions came together to provide information and career guidance to learners of the school.

“Fortunately, Namibia has started training occupational therapists, and the first group of graduates will graduate this year, although they are less than 20,” Kambowe says.

She points out that each region of Namibia needs at least five occupational therapists.

“It will be good if children can take up occupational therapy as a career, because currently we are using expatriates,” she states.

For one to become an occupational therapist, the person needs to have achieved 32 points and above, with subjects of science, mathematics, and English at secondary education level, and four years of studies at tertiary education level.

“You need a bachelor degree, which locally only the University of Namibia is providing,” she points out. “For one to be admitted and start to practice, your qualification needs to be accredited by the World Federation of Occupational Therapists.”

Kambowe, who was sent by the Ministry of Health and Social Services to make a presentation at the career exhibition, says that a starting salary for an occupational therapist is good.

“Entry level salary is a grade 7,” she says.

In the photo: Oshana Region’s chief occupational therapist Mrs Hannah Kambowe.