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Helping Supply The World With Prosthetic Limbs

When you think about donation supplies being sent over to other countries, it is rare you consider artificial limbs as a donation item. Medical supplies are one of the most common items sent to poor countries all over the world when providing aid to poor countries. One need for many people who suffer from health problems in these countries includes artificial limbs. By having access to prosthetic limbs, these people are able to take better care of themselves and live a more normal life. Donations of prosthetic limbs can make a life-changing difference for those who cannot afford these items. 


After meeting an amputee when traveling to Gambia, Tom Williams decided he wanted to make a difference. When he returned, he found out that thousands of artificial limbs were disposed of in U.K. hospitals because they are considered a biohazard. Seeing that these important items were being tossed out when millions of people were in need, he set out to start a charity called Legs4Africa. The cost to obtain one of these artificial legs is over the average annual salary for a person in Gambia. The thought of trying to afford one of these is unrealistic for most amputees in the country. Through fundraising efforts, the nonprofit organization expects to ship out around 2,000 artificial legs to West Africa. 

The Importance of Artificial Limbs

For many, losing a limb is not only physically painful, but it can be emotionally painful as well. Loss of daily function can occur, depending on what limb was lost and how bad it was. Many people rely on a prosthetic to help compensate for the lost limb. By being able to use an artificial limb, they are much more likely to perform daily operations they could not do without it. In poor countries, the idea of being able to afford a prosthetic limb is not likely to ever happen so they depend on donations and nonprofits like Legs4Africa.

How Technology is Helping

The World Health Organization recently reported that there was a shortfall of 40,0000 prosthetic technicians. Due to such complex training, in order to train another 18,000 technicians, it would take about 50 years. Fortunately, there has been in advancement in 3D printing that is allowing prosthetic limb making to become easier. The process is more accurate and digitized as the area is digitally scanned to create a custom limb. This new technology is one more step toward providing a limb to those who are in need. 

For more information about prosthetics, contact a local clinic, like Cotton Orthotic and Prosthetic.