At the end of January, Legs4Africa collaborated with Physionet, a charity which provides physiotherapy equipment to disabled children in developing countries around the world.
Combining our expertise and resources, we were able to acquire a shipping container, 1000 prosthetic legs and a wide range of mobility equipment, destined for the Ministry of Social Welfare in Banjul, Gambia.
A recently-emerged video shows the official handover ceremony – hosted on live Gambian TV – which took place last month at the Social Welfare Department, in a gesture of goodwill towards contributors.
Gabu Jarjue, the Head of Prosthetics at the Royal Victoria Teaching hospital, began the ceremony with a minute’s silence and prayer – customary in Gambian culture, before thanking Legs4Africa for recent consignment and the 500 limbs brought to the country in 2014.
‘That was the first time we had anything more than 100 limbs in this department,’ he said.
Other speakers included the Director of the Department of Social Welfare, who stressed the impact the 1000 prosthetic limbs brought in 2015 will have in a country in such urgent need of them:
“In the Gambia, there is an increasing number of persons with disabilities,’ she said, ‘mainly due to non-communicable diseases such as diabetes and car accidents, these limbs will be distributed countrywide, not only in Greater Banjul, because we also have outreach services.”
It was a touching affirmation of how far this unwanted equipment goes towards changing lives in deprived regions of the world.
With 5,000 prosthetic limbs going to waste every year in the UK alone every year due to health and safety regulations, the case couldn’t be clearer for continuing our efforts in supplying Africa with second-and mobility equipment.
As if to stress this point, Gabu Jarjue concluded the talks by saying: ‘The Gambia is a great nation, and we need more support, not only even in the area of limbs, but in the expertise and the personnel to manipulate those limbs that you send to Africa.’