Notre Dame Clinic and the Orthopedic Training Centre

Nsawam, Ghana — Nsawam is the cradle of School Sister of Notre Dame (SSND) in Ghana. In 1974, the first five missionaries were missioned to Nsawam. In 1975 SSND started two ministries in this place: Notre Dame Clinic under Diocese of Accra but now Koforidua and the Orthopedic Training Centre (OTC) in collaboration with the Divine Word Missionaries (SVD).

Notre Dame Clinic

Sister Esther Ayaapoa Alaam delivered a baby at Notre Dame Clinic in Nsawam, Ghana

Notre Dame Clinic provides health services to the people living in the villages around Nsawam in a 35 km radius. The out-patient department treats people of all ages, tribes and religions. The maternity department caters for the pregnant women and newborns regardless of tribe or religion. The clinic has a highly functional lab to assist with diagnosis. They can do ultrasound scans for pregnant patients. No patient is refused treatment because they are unable to pay. At present, the clinic has been raised to the status of a hospital so is working 24 hours throughout the week. Sisters serve as midwife and in the accounts office.

Orthopedic Training Centre

Since 1975, SSND minister to the children and patients who come to the Orthopedic Training Centre (OTC) from near and far. Over the years, the OTC has developed and expanded. Presently it has four departments. They are:

  • Orthopedic Clinic & Workshop: The Orthopedic Clinic & Workshop was set up in 1965 to diagnose, manufacture and fit the orthopedic appliances needed for the physically challenged of Ghana. Orthopedic shoes, shoe prosthesis, leg braces, artificial legs and arms, splints, etc., are manufactured for the over 7000 patients seen yearly.
  • Sister Elizabeth Newman and Ernest
  • Mobile Orthopedic Unit: As many of the poor do not have to ability to travel to the OTC, in 1965 the Mobile Orthopedic Unit was initiated. The orthopedic services of the OTC have now been extended to over 45 contact stations throughout Ghana. These stations include hospitals, clinics, rehabilitation centres, and mission stations, and at times the clinic is held under a tree.
  • Children’s Home: The Children’s Home provides a family environment for the children as they begin their therapy and learn how to use their orthopedic appliances. During the months they stay at the centre, they feel acceptance and they receive support from both staff and other children.
  • Prosthetics & Orthotics Training College: The newest addition to the OTC is the Prosthetics & Orthotics Training College, which opened its doors to the first class in September 2013. It provides prosthetics and orthotics education and training, combining both concise theoretical and practical sessions. The college offers a diploma program and is now offering an on line degree program.
Two children that have benefited from the Orthopedic Training Centre

The OTC also began a community outreach program. Every Wednesday one physiotherapist and the community based rehabilitation officer go into the communities and see what services are needed by the handicapped or elderly. Because of this program, they started a Day Care for the Cerebral Palsy children in the area. This has been a tremendous help to parents with children who have Cerebral Palsy.

The Sisters serving in these two ministries live out the charism of Mother Theresa as they minister to the poor, women and children. It is ministry that allows the sisters to experience the lives, struggles of the poor, and provides a call to conversion.


Learn more about the mission and ministries of the Province of Africa and the countries we serve.

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