January 16, 2019

Unlikely Bristol Partnership ensures 250 legs reach Ghana

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At the start of 2018 I had the privilege of visiting the OTC in Ghana, an Orthopaedic Training College a few hours North of Accra in Nsawam. The visit was extremely encouraging and, following lengthy discussions with Henry, the head of the Training College and Sister Elizabeth about how best Legs4Africa can support the centre, I came away with a report for the rest of the team advising what more we can do.

To find out more about this preliminary visit, read about it here.

Tom with Sister Elizabeth at the OTC in January 2018

Coincidentally, at about the same time, Legs4Africa were introduced to General Aid (UK) a voluntary logistics network which supplies much needed aid to Ghana. The meeting came at a great time as G-Aid kindly offered us space in their container in which we could fit equipment and they would take it directly to the OTC for us. It sounded too good to be true and probably saved us over £2,000 in logistics and import duties so we took them up on their generous offer.

“We all need to be more responsible when it comes to recycling and Legs4Africa are doing this effectively through recycling unwanted prosthetic limbs,  and we’re extremely pleased that we can help support them in doing that”

Martin Fry, Assistant Operations Manager, Bristol Wholesale Fruit Centre

This was our first consignment to Africa of fully dismantled prosthetic legs and the components had to be safely and securely packed to give us the best use of space allocated. It was apparent that we needed crates into which we could sort the components and then stack the crates on top of each other. So we spoke to Bristol Fruit Centre and explained our predicament. They didn’t hesitate to offer us all the plastic crates that we needed.

On the two pallets which G-Aid offered us, we were able to fit enough components for the OTC to build 250 prosthetic legs, along with resin, crutches and lots of other mobility equipment.

On the 18th of December 2018 we were proud to hear that the components had arrived safely at the OTC.

“It was such a delight when the truck pulled up and to see the components for artificial legs had arrived. Not only the components but how they were packed and organized was unbelievable.

“In 2018 we manufactured 88 above the knee and 103 below the knee prostheses. During the year we also did lots of repairs so this consignment will make a huge difference.  We now have a choice of what type of knee to use for each individual, different sizes of feet and all the other components that go into producing an artificial limb”.

Sister Elizabeth

The OTC have also expressed a need for children’s prosthetic legs and this has ignited an ongoing campaign called Little Legs from which we’re looking to recycle children’s prosthetic legs from the UK and send them directly to the OTC through the Deliver a Leg programme.