• October 1st, 2020

300 people register for free artificial limbs

Mashazi Mahoto

RUNDU - A team of Indian prosthetics together with their Namibian counterparts will hold a six-week camp to provide prosthetic limbs popularly known as Jaipur Foot free in Rundu in Kavango East starting from September 17, 2019. 

The free camp targets people who have lost their limbs due to motor-vehicle accidents, diabetes, explosives, snakebites and others. The idea is to fit prosthetic limbs to people with disabilities either above the knee or below as well as below the elbow. The free camp will start on September 17 whereas the official opening will be held on September 23 and it will run for six weeks. 

Milka Mushimba, acting Deputy Director for Primary Health Care in the Ministry of Health and Social Services, encouraged people with such disabilities to register at their nearest constituency offices or hospitals for transport arrangements to Rundu to be made.  Mushimba explained that beneficiaries will not be transported to Rundu at once but will follow a schedule spread over the period of six weeks to avoid over-expenditure on accommodation and food on beneficiaries while they are in Rundu.  Mushimba confirmed that at least 300 people have registered so far on the national level. “The cost of an artificial limb when done in Namibia would be “between eighty and ninety Namibian dollars,” she added. The team of prosthetists will consist of both Indian and Namibian medical professionals. The cost of a new prosthetic leg can cost anywhere from N$75 000 to N$750 000. However, even the most expensive prosthetic limbs are built to last for only three to five years as wear and tear occurs and have to be replaced over time.

The prosthetic limb popularly known as Jaipur Foot has gained worldwide recognition for its efficacy, safety and cost-effectiveness. The United Nations (UN) recognised this remarkable achievement by hosting a special commemorative event on May 15, 2018. 

The camp is being organised under the partnership of the Government of India through the High Commission of India in Windhoek and the Government of Namibia through the Ministry of Health and Social Services. The camp is part of the commemorations of Mahatma Gandhi’s 150th birthday anniversary this year. The camp has been held in Tanzania, Malawi Senegal and Ethiopia in the past year in Africa alone while more than 1.7 million people have benefited in India. This free camp is the “first of its kind in Namibia and people are encouraged to make use of it”, she concluded. 

*The author, Mashazi Mahoto is a second-year media student at the University of Namibia (Unam) and is doing internship at New Era newspaper.  

Staff Reporter
2019-09-03 07:20:25 | 1 years ago

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