In the developing world, losing a leg often means losing your primary mode of transportation. While amputations are less common today in the Western world, the procedure remains highly prevalent in less developed countries.
Amputations in the Developing World
The rate of amputations is increasing in the developing world, in part because of violence. Land mine detonations account for nearly 85% of amputations in war torn countries.
There is a particularly high rate of amputations amongst Syrian refugees. In fact, over 80,000 refugees are in need of prosthetic limbs.
Our new partnership
IRT are happy to announce our new partnership with Ed Pennington-Ridge, an independent inventor, to provide amputees with high mobility, low cost prosthetic limbs for people living in refugee camps and developing countries. We will also be partnering with the Tanzania Training Centre for Orthopaedic Technologists (TATCOT) where the prosthetics will be manufactured.
TATCOT is an ideal location for testing the technology, advising on modifications and improvements, and refining the manufacturing process, so that the technology can be easily replicated in refugee camps and developing world countries.
What makes this model easier to access?
These prosthetics will be accessible to the people who typically cannot afford prosthetic limbs. While a Western-manufactured, carbon-fibre foot might cost in the region of USD $3,000 (£2,500), the intention is to provide a lower cost prosthetic limb with a mobile ankle for under USD $100 (£82). And these costs don’t factor in the replacement of limbs every three to five years, so that over the course of someone’s life time Western-manufactured prosthetics can cost millions of dollars.
What do we want to achieve?
This is a brand new partnership for IRT and the project will take into consideration the simplicity of design, availability of raw materials and the ability to manufacture in unstable conditions. The main aims of this project are:
• To run a pilot project providing prosthetics for a test group of 20 – 30 beneficiaries.
• To set up production of the prosthetics, including delivery of a training package to cover the manufacturing process.
• To then use the lessons learnt, to improve the product and service in order to rapidly expand the programme to places of greatest need (i.e. Syrian refugee camps).
Our hopes, through the combination of all mentioned above will create sustainable change for the world’s poorest amputees, many of whom are refugees.
We are very excited to see what the future holds for this project and are happy to be able to reach even more people in need and provide Syrian refugees with life changing technology.