Nigeria continues to display citizens because of violence. One such occasion was perpetuated by the notorious, “Boko Haram”. Several victims lost their hands and legs. Others died.
A start-up in Nigeria is helping victims of such violence rebuild their lives by offering them free prosthetic limbs. These artificial legs and hands are being created with a 3D printer. The artificial limbs are produced at a lab in Yola, in the northeast of the country.
Readers will recall that thousands have been killed or injured in the unrest including terror attacks and clashes over land between farmers and nomadic herders in Yola. By using a 3D printer to create the artificial legs and hands, costs are immensely reduced compared to traditional manufacturing techniques.
“The lab itself hasn’t really been operational for more than two months and we have already impacted five…you know six kids with limbs including a police officer also who lost his limb in the line of duty, said Muhammed Ibrahim, a founding partner of the lab. “So it is much cheaper, much much cheaper.”
The lab is part of the government-backed Northeast Humanitarian and Innovation Hub, set up in 2018 to encourage technological solutions to some of the regions social problems. It already has a list of more than 100 people in the region waiting for one of the prosthetic limbs.
A similar project is in Uganda where a trained orthopedic technician Julius Gabula is doing wonders and bringing relief to Ugandan amputees with his locally made prosthetic to enable them to live a quality life. Gabula wants to see more Ugandan amputees abandon the wheelchair and regain their freedom with quality independent life devoid of barriers.
” We rehabilitate them to the extent that they are able to move in a similar way they were moving, however, it is not possible to go back to what God made at first,” Gabula said. The workshop produces mobility devices used for both hands and legs.
The products cost from 200 to 1,300 US dollars. Similar ones made by established manufacturers go for about double the price in orthopedic outlets in the city. According to the country’s ministry of health, about 2 million Ugandans live with a disability.