Overview and Background

Department of Occupational Therapy


In 1995, Bangladesh Health Professions Institute (BHPI) – the academic institute of Centre for the Rehabilitation of the Paralysed (CRP) introduced Occupational Therapy (OT) course under the Medicine Faculty of the University of Dhaka which is accredited by the World Federation of Occupational Therapists (WFOT).

At present, the department is offering 3 different courses on Occupational Therapy including:

• Bachelor of Science in Occupational Therapy (B.Sc. in OT)
• Diploma in Occupational Therapy (Diploma in OT).
• Occupational Therapy Assistant (OTA).


Occupational Therapy is a health care profession which provides services to people whose ability to function in daily life has been disrupted and to help the people to do the day-to-day activities that are important and meaningful to their health and well-being through engagement in the valued occupation. Causes may include birth defects, injuries, physical or mental illness. Purposeful activity, therapeutic exercise, special equipment, skills training and environmental modification are used to maximize the person’s ability to attain independence in everyday living.

Occupational Therapy is practiced in a wide range of public, private and voluntary sectors such as- rehabilitation centers, hospitals, special school, national & international NGO, geriatric settings and so on.

Working Areas for Occupational Therapists

Clinical Working Areas of Occupational Therapists

History of Occupational Therapy in Bangladesh

In 1971, when the glorious war of liberation came to an end, there was a need to establish a centre for treatment and rehabilitation of wounded freedom fighters, as well as war-affected civilians. At that critical time in 1972 Professor R. J. Garst, an American Orthopedic Surgeon and specialist in the field of rehabilitation, arrived in Bangladesh to assist the Bangladesh Government to find a solution. In response to these needs in 1973, Prof. R. J. Garst started the first School for Occupational Therapy at Rehabilitation Institute and Hospital for the Disable (RIHD) later renamed National Institute of Traumatology and Orthopaedic Rehabilitation (NITOR). In the first Batch of Occupational Therapy, three students completed their Bachelor degree in Occupational Therapy in 1976. Unfortunately the course was discontinued. Out of these three graduates, two left Bangladesh after one year, and only Mrs. Josene Ara Begum served the country as an Occupational Therapist until her death in 2000.

In 1995, Centre for the Rehabilitation of the Paralysed (CRP), a non-government organization, restart Occupational Therapy Diploma course in Bangladesh. Following this, the course was upgraded in 1999 to a B. Sc (Honors) degree course at Bangladesh Health Professions Institute (BHPI), the academic institute of CRP under the Medicine Faculty of the University of Dhaka. The first batch of B. Sc (Honors) in Occupational Therapy students completed their graduation in 2003. The Occupational Therapy course has since been continued and the course was accredited by the World Federation of Occupational Therapists (WFOT) in 2000.

Up to 2019, 294 Occupational Therapists have graduated from the course, and all of them are currently working in various reputable national and international organisations and hospitals, both home and abroad. All the students of that program are taught by both local and foreign teachers from many specialties and backgrounds. There are 12 permanent Occupational Therapy faculties who are expert in this aspect and provide teaching for the students. Among them, Two are Associate Professors, Two are Assistant Professor and Eight are Lecturers and others specialist medical science teachers for medical science subjects.

Current Facilities:

Infrastructural-BHPI provides its students with a clean, spacious and organized campus with modern teaching facilities. The classes are supported by modern teaching technologies. BHPI has unlimited internet access for the faculties, staff and students.

Clinical Placements-Students of BHPI have a good external exposure while on clinical placements in Dhaka Medical College and Hospital (DMCH), National Institute of Traumatology and Orthopedic Rehabilitation (NITOR), National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), Shishu Polli Plus (SPP), Community Based Rehabilitation (CBR) and many other national & international Institute for advanced placement.

CRP is a renowned placement venue for national and international Occupational Therapy students. Students have the opportunity to work in neurology, pediatric, spinal cord injury (SCI), hand therapy, school and community based rehabilitation settings.

Library-BHPI has a full digitally enriched library including more than 10,000 books, journals and other learning materials. Students of BHPI can access journals from different world renowned publishers via the HINARI website, which is managed by the World Health Organization (WHO). BHPI has links with BRACKEN Health Sciences Library, Queen’s University Canada and the Bangladesh Academy of Sciences (INASP).

Computer Lab-BHPI has a comprehensive computer lab facility which is accessible to all students. The library also provides scanner, internet access and photocopy facilities with minimal cost.

Co-curricular Activities– BHPI has Sports & Fitness Club, Cultural and Recreation Club, Morale Club, Debate club etc. for student’s participation.

Publication– BHPI newsletter published half yearly to encourage staff and students in their academic and research activities.

Contact us

Department of Occupational Therapy

Bangladesh Health Professions Institute (BHPI)

CRP, Savar, Dhaka-1343.

Phone no: +8801730059646

Email: ot-bhpi@crp-bangladesh.org