The Million-dollar Fit: Companies Develop Affordable Prostheses for Use in Less Resourced Countries
Tuesday, May 15, 2018
Image courtesy of D-Rev.
By Betta Ferrendelli
EVERY YEAR thousands of people in impoverished countries undergo amputations. However, contrary to popular belief, armed conflicts or landmines are not usually to blame. Rather, the primary cause of most of these amputations is other types of trauma, such as automobile and train accidents.
For example, Yellamma, a 25-year-old single mother in India, received a lower-limb amputation when she was hit by a bus as she left the hospital where she worked as a nurse. The hospital provided her with a prosthesis, but the device was ill fitting and she was unable to wear it for very long due to severe discomfort. She ultimately lost her job at the hospital.
Lanieta, a 14-year-old girl from Koro, a remote island in Fiji, began having severe pain in her left leg in February 2016. She traveled by boat with her mother to Viti Levu, where she was diagnosed with osteoscarcoma and physicians performed a transfemoral amputation. However, there was no viable prosthesis that Lanieta could use on Koro’s volcanic rock terrain, so she was unable to return home.
- Health Care