One of the major challenges children with severe disability face in rural Tanzania is the lack of supportive devices in their daily life, at home or at school. For many of them, it is almost impossible to move, sit or stand in a proper position without a support. This has extreme consequences on their health.
For this reason, we are glad that we were able to upgrade our Orthopedic Workshop at Inuka Rehabilitation Center contributing to improve standard of life of many disabled patients.
In 2014, we started the activities of the workshop with a simple carpentry for the production of wooden supportive devices. James, the carpenter, produces devices such as standing frames, corner chairs and supports for toilets (which often is just a hole in the ground), with the supervision of the therapists. These supports are very useful for the disabled and their families, because they allow a correct position to the patients instead of leaving them laying on the ground or in a bed.
The aim of the workshop is to produce using as much as possible local materials, which are easy to repair or replace.
During this year, we were able to upgrade our workshop starting to cast and create prosthesis and orthosis for our patients, thanks to the support of Italian Province of Bolzano and the Rotary Doctor Bank of Finland.
In September, Inuka CBR employed Tanish, a Tanzanian orthopedic technologist. Other funds were used to purchase material, machinery and tools for the production of orthoses and prostheses.
Juha, a Finnish orthopedic technologist with many years of experience, gave an important support, training Tanzanian staff for one month. He worked with Tanish shoulder to shoulder constructing orthoses, adjusting them and applying joints. In two months’ time, Inuka Orthopedic workshop produced over 20 orthoses, mainly ankle-foot orthosis.
So finally, after having helped the children at home with their standing positions, we’re able to give them something which will accompany them in their running, playing and moving.