200 Wheelchairs to support Rehabilitation Unit in The Gambia

Tom WilliamsGambia, Leg News, Tom

Legs4Africa is looking to raise six thousand pounds to furnish The Wheelchair Centre, supplying the whole of The Gambia with wheelchairs, as well as the nearby physiotherapy department with essential tools, replacement parts and equipment. The skilled engineers need updated tools and parts so that they may customise each donated wheelchair for its intended recipient.

Over a hundred wheelchair users are being forced to wait for repairs and customisation of their wheelchairs due to the lack of tools and parts. In desperation, the frustrated technicians have resorted to using scrap metal just so some wheelchair repairs may be made but this is neither ideal nor a long term solution.

Legs4Africa have seen, first hand, the woeful state of the workshop and have spoken to wheelchair users which this lack of resources has directly affected. So many people have to be immobile at home and reliant on their friends and family for meals and to go to the bathroom. At least 100 people are in need of a wheelchair. The engineers are ready to go, all they need is the tools and equipment. Legs4Africa has already collected much that the wheelchair centre needs, including 200 decent wheelchairs and a great number of spare parts, all we need to do is get it shipped to them.

Furthermore, Legs4Africa wishes to buy specialised off road tires for the wheelchairs that will work in Gambia’s sandy streets along with replacement inner-tubes and bearings which are prone to wear out quickly in such an environment.

The physiotherapy department is also running low on equipment, so we intend to ship our stock of 400 pairs of crutches, 200 walking frames and 50 wheeled-walkers.

In all, this shipment is destined to help hundreds, providing them with the means to be mobile and to be independent. Such equipment means people don’t have to be immobile and isolated. Such equipment means that they can take their rightful place in their community, disability be damned.

Breakdown of costs

£3000 will deliver the items we already have from our Bristol storage centre to the hospital in Banjul, The Gambia. This includes 200 wheelchairs, 400 pairs of crutches, 200 walking frames and 50 wheeled walkers.

£1000 will be spent on decent hand tools and consumables such as; angle grinder plus grinding disks, welder plus welding rods, and an electric drill plus bits.

£1000 will be spent on buying parts for the wheelchairs, crutches and walkers so that they can be kept in use for years to come such as; ferrules for the crutches and walkers, tyres and inner-tubes for the wheelchairs, and puncture repair kits.

£1000 will be spent on buying large front wheels and wheel-bearings, so the wheelchairs can be modified for the sandy Gambian terrain, increasing usability of a chair significantly.