Mission 2018

Our mission this past Summer saw the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between the CEO (College d’Etudes Osteopathiques in Montreal) and KMU (Khyber Medical University in Peshawar) to start the first osteopathic school in Asia at Khyber. After 11 years of annual humanitarian missions exposing the benefits of osteopathy to medical professionals, public health executives and the general population, we are happy to partner with the Institute for Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation (IPMR) at KMU in Peshawar.

Philippe Druelle, President of the CEO, signing the MOU in Montreal in June.

Prof. Arshad Javaid, Vice Chancellor at KMU, signing the MOU in Islamabad in July.

The planned full-time osteopathy program will be part of IPMR, under the direction of Dr. Haider Darain, who, since we met him last November, has already been an invaluable partner and supporter of osteopathy.  The Montreal school’s 5-year program respects the highest standards described by WHO in its Benchmark Papers. There will be an option for healthcare professionals to enroll as part-timers.

Faisal Naqvi, DO, during the workshop at KMU.

The MOU was signed in June in Montreal by Philippe Druelle, DO, Founder and President of the CEO, during the CEO’s year-end gala, and in July in Islamabad by Dr. Arshad Javaid, Vice Chancellor at KMU. With this project, both leaders and their teams are committed to bringing modern, cost effective integrative care to Pakistan. Because they can cure or help to restore health to a wide range of patients with only their hands and hearts, osteopaths, once the profession is recognized by the government, can easily work in rural areas or large hospitals, in neighborhood schools or private clinics, without medication or technology. KMU being a government university, they will make sure the profession becomes official in KP province and then in the country. 

We want to thank here our board member Aleema Khan, who made the first introductions between KMU and OWB, and who has made sure over the years that all in her family received osteopathy. From the early days in 2007, her insights, strategic thinking and commitment to providing care and opportunities for all have been guiding forces to our efforts. 

Aleema’s brother Imran Khan was elected Prime Minister at the beginning of our mission. Osteopathy fits well with his agenda of providing more opportunities and better care to the people.

Following his first trip to KMU last November, Faisal Naqvi, DO, gave another “Introduction to Osteopathy” workshop at IPMR to a group of faculty, physiotherapists and finishing students. The first two osteopaths of Pakistan, Haider Ali, DO and Usmara Zafar,DO, from Lahore, were of course part of the mission. It was interesting to hear some students who attended the November workshop report on their successes or challenges with the techniques they had learned. Because we ended up staying in Peshawar for 10 days, we got to hear of their further progress with their patients following the workshop. The beauty of the 5-year part-time program for physiotherapists or healthcare professionals is that the techniques learned during each 5-6-day module can be used immediately with one’s patients with great results.

Our team meeting with Dr. Haider Darain, head of IPMR at KMU.

Thanks to Dr. Haider Darain, we were introduced to Rehman Medical Institute (RMI), a private hospital and medical school in Peshawar. Mr. Shafique Rehman, its CEO, always on the lookout for ways to improve their services, was very interested to experience what osteopathy could add to patient care. I was invited to make a presentation to their doctors, physiotherapists and students while Faisal continued with an afternoon workshop. A second day was dedicated to demonstrations with the physiotherapy patients (and staff).  It was an opportunity to showcase osteopathy’s specific way of treating patients suffering from back or joint pain, stroke or brain injury. The staff was quite enthusiastic to discover a new resource to help further improvement for their patients, and for themselves as patients. They wanted more.

Faisal Naqvi teaching at RMI.

Our team with Mr. Shafique Rehman, CEO at RMI, and Dr. Muhammad Bin Afsar Jan, head of the physiotherapy department.

Mr. Shafique Rehman, a fast thinker, and a generous and dedicated leader, brought up the idea of osteopathy camps at RMI, co-sponsored by KMU. We will be sending small teams of osteopaths a few times this coming year to create more awareness of this new profession coming to Pakistan. The first one of these week-long camps will happen in October.

Our team presenting osteopathy to the staff at Dost Welfare Foundation.

Faisal Naqvi explaining the osteopathic treatment to psychologists at Dost.

Thanks to Aleema Khan, we were also introduced to Dost Welfare Foundation, founded by Dr. Parveen Azam Khan. Dost has a variety of programs to help the neediest in the area. We visited and spent two days at their facility dedicated to helping drug-addicted children. Their program includes a 90-day residential rehabilitation program, using psychology and counseling, art and theater, education and skill building, and no replacement drugs.  Illicit drugs are typically used to relieve pain, whether physical or emotional, and osteopathy can be a very effective resource to decrease pain. The general feedback was that one session was not enough to bring about significant changes in children who have a very complicated and traumatic history. Here is an example of an institution that would do well with an osteopath on staff.

Faisal and Haider surrounded by physiotherapists and students interested in osteopathy at Gulab Devi hospital.

Demonstration at our Osteopathy Center in Lahore.

We made our way back to Lahore to meet with the physiotherapists and students who attended our workshops last year. We spent a day of demonstrations at Gulab Devi Hospital and one day at our own Osteopathy Center.  We had about 30 attendees at Gulab Devi and 10 at our Osteopathy Center, including several who were ready to sign up for the program.

The home for the first Osteopathy School in Asia, at KMU, Peshawar, Pakistan.

If we have a large enough number of candidates for the part-time program, we will start a specific class for healthcare professional in the Fall of 2019, so please confirm your interest if you are not yet on our list.

The key commitment of OWB and the CEO school in Montreal is to provide the highest level of training to the future students of osteopathy at KMU in Pakistan. To this end, experienced professors will travel from Montreal to teach. This extra cost will require the participation of all of the supporters of osteopathy, as we will be raising funds to pay for scholarships so that the cost to the students is affordable.   We thank you for your generosity if you are able to help with our goal of a healthier healthcare system in the new Pakistan.

Sylvie Erb

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