Our Work in The Gambia
The Gambian Amputee Rehabilitation Project works to address the profound lack of physical and social rehabilitation for amputees in The Gambia.
The current situation
Due to lack of support services, treatment and the consequential rarity of records, the exact number of amputees in the country is unknown. However, despite The Gambia being small (approximately the size of Cornwall) it is safe to say that the number of amputees living in the country is disproportionately high.
Low incomes, poor education and a market flooded with low cost, nutritionally lacking food is leading to a significant rise in type 2 diabetes across Sub Saharan Africa. One consequence of the condition, if untreated, is limb-loss and, with a underfunded health service, this is far more prolific in The Gambia than in the UK.
Furthermore, the same lack of treatment coupled with poor health and safety practices means that accidents as simple as standing on broken glass and contracting an infection can, instead of being treated with a simple course of antibiotics, result in amputation.
Amputee’s in The Gambia are scattered throughout society, with many having to endure feelings of hopelessness and rejection.
Begging by amputees is a common sight in Banjul and other cities and towns across The Gambia. It is often encouraged by families who are struggling financially. This is not only a demeaning means of making money but also deepens the stigma that people with disabilities lack worth.
The Current Solution
The Royal Victoria Teaching Hospital (RVTH) in Banjul, Gambia’s capital, houses the countries only prosthetic workshop which is underfunded and has just one prosthetist and one technician to fabricate, fit and fix prosthetic legs for its influx of patients.
Interview with The Gambia’s only prosthesis at the RVTH in Banjul.
What we’ve shipped so far
“Giving someone a prosthetic leg is like giving someone back their life again. It never gets boring”Gabu Jarjue
How Legs4Africa is involved
Legs4Africa began in The Gambia with the delivery of a single prosthetic leg in 2013. Since then we have continued to increase the ways in which it supports existing services whilst developing new solutions to help amputees.
The Gambian Amputee Rehabilitation Project is our most advanced project yet and serves as the flagship and template for our future work in other subsaharan countries.
Examples of our work include:
To date, we have sent enough components to the workshop in Banjul to build 2,000 prosthetic legs,
In 2016 we set up the Gambian Amputee Association to empower and support its members. The association also lobbies for change for the benefit of all amputees in The Gambia.
Working closely with the Physiotherapy department at the RVTH, we provide home visits to provide physical rehabilitation and consultation for prosthetic leg users.
Our objective in The Gambia is to provide physical and psychological relief to amputees and, along side The Gambian Amputee association, fight the legal, practical and socioeconomic issues arising from limb-loss.
Where our support comes from
So far our efforts in The Gambia have been support by generous one of and regular donations as well as gifts through the following trusts.
The Gambian Amputee Association
Adapting prosthetic legs
Rehabilitation and Support