July 1, 2019

New partners from Uganda

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On Monday, June 24th 2019, Legs4Africa had the privilege to welcome Akram Semwanga, Gizamba Mafabi Henry, and Tom Baguma, three Ugandan prosthetists respectively coming from the Katalemwa Cheshire Home for Rehabilitation Services, the Mulago National Referral Hospital of Kampala, and the Fort Portal Regional Referral Orthopaedic workshop. In addition, we had the honour to welcome Kalibbala Mark Giggs, the community rehabilitation officer of the Spinal Injuries Association Uganda. These men are currently studying at Salford University for an exchange program within the Commonwealth.

After waking up at 2AM to travel from Salford to Bristol, Akram, Gizamba, Tom, and Mark arrived in our Legs4Africa office in Bristol. We introduced them to our organisation around a good old British cuppa’ and they introduced themselves and explained their jobs, as well as the challenges they face in obtaining equipment to build prosthetics at their work centres in Uganda. We then showed them around the office and the workshop, where they collected equipment to fill their suitcases – the cases will head to Uganda with them in a few weeks. Akram truly valued the equipment and put together two suitcases of over 30kg. Tom explained the impact this equipment would have, and how overwhelming giving a leg back to someone could be for both the amputee and the prosthetist. 

Akram, Gizamba, Tom, and Mark were very grateful to receive this equipment as they told us that prosthetic feet, pylons, knees, and connectors are extremely hard to get a hold of for cheap in Uganda. They usually have to order them from far away, making the cost unrealistic for most of their clients. 

After they’d finished collecting the parts they needed we decided to have lunch and to go play basketball all together – Margherita ended up crushing the rest of us at a free throw contest. Akram, Gizamba, Tom, and Mark left with a total of 107kg of equipment, with over 40 feet, 60 knees, and enough to build at least 100 legs. They will fly back to Uganda in about 2 weeks, and will take the equipment to their hospitals and workshops where they will use the parts to build adapted prosthetic legs for their clients. We created a new partnership for the future, and now we are working on sending more prosthetic legs to Uganda, which is fantastic news for our organisation.