Childhood disability, road traffic accidents, unexploded ordnance (UXO) and land mines are major problems for Cambodia. Cambodian Red Cross statistics show the incident of one amputee in every 266 head of population. In addition the report from the National Census of theVictims and Survivors of Landmines and Unexploded Ordnance in Cambodia reported the total casualties recorded from 1979 to 2006 as 62,653. The actual incidence may be higher due to the lack of communication and recording system at community and higher level.
The Cambodian School of Prosthetics and Orthotics (CSPO) was established in 1994 in Phnom Penh, Cambodia. The school was initially planned to provide prosthetics and orthotics training for Cambodians.
CSPO was accredited by the International Society for Prosthetics and Orthotics in 1999. Since then CSPO has offered training to students from the region and other low income countries. As part of the Cambodia Trust Rehabilitation Program, CSPO is certified with ISO 9001:2000. The implementation of ISO Quality Management System requires CSPO to focus on Continual Improvement and Customer Satisfaction.
CSPO is the only prosthetics and orthotics school in the world with ISO certification.
Currently CSPO has students from 15 nations; Cambodia, East Timor, Georgia, Indonesia, Iraq, Japan, Kiribati, Lao PDR, Malaysia, Myanmar, Nepal, Papua New Guinea, PDRK (N. Korea), the Philippines and Sri Lanka.
40% of students are women, 15% are people with disabilities.
English is used as the language for education. Foreign students undertake the local language classes in order to be able to communicate with disabled people.
Each academic year runs from October to September. A maximum of 14 places are offered for each intake. The course is 3-year full time studies. Students learn clinical and technical procedures in prosthetics and orthotics. A training clinic is attached to CSPO, which provides a structured learning environment for students.
Each class is supervised by a lecturing team (an expatriate lecturer and Cambodian Assistant Lecturer) in both clinical and technical practice.
CSPO in collaboration with La Trobe University developed an upgrading course to Bachelor degree level. These students will undertake modules from La Trobe in Cambodia with 3 months clinical placement in Australia. The course is 30 months full time studies. These graduates will become leaders and educators in the region.
Through 11 years of prosthetics and orthotics training delivery, CSPO is aiming to be the center of excellent in Prosthetics and Orthotics for South East Asia. CSPO assists to meet the need of prosthetics and orthotics education for low income countries, where prosthetics and orthotics schools do not exist.