When we first started, we focused purely on collecting and sending prosthetic leg parts to sub-Saharan Africa, but quickly realised how much more people need in order to get through the trauma of limb loss.
Amputation can lead to depression, anxiety and PTSD. It is estimated that 66% of amputees develop a mental health disorder as a result of limb loss and in countries like The Gambia 80% of people will not receive any emotional or physical rehabilitation support.
To ensure even people in hard-to-reach areas can access the support they need we have developed community outreach programmes that focus on providing vital emotional wellbeing services as well as physical outreach care.
Our teams visit amputees in the community to check on physical wellbeing, make basic improvements to legs, and provide physiotherapy and advice on exercises and healthcare.
I lost my leg last year after helping the children with art at the day-care centre I work at – I stepped on a drawing pin and it got infected. My prosthetic was fitted in June and I am already back working twice a week - this would not have been possible without my new leg and the care and advice I have got from Bob. I have 3 daughters, one of whom I adopted at 4 days old when my neighbour passed away due to childbirth complications. I have experienced a lot of pain in my life, I only have one eye too, but look, I have always managed to overcome it
— Tako, Day Care worker
It’s amazing to see the encouragement and change in mood that counselling can bring to amputees and their families, when I speak with them and they see me walking, they realise all is not lost.
— Alieu Touray
To further enhance the wellbeing of people with limb loss in the community, we must work alongside local amputee-led organisations across sub-Saharan Africa, to help them to grow and become self-sustaining. These groups hold huge importance as they not only provide amputees with a safe space to work through trauma and build relationships, but they also advocate for disability rights and help to fight stigma.
We support these organisations by improving their access to training, resources and funding so they can formalise and become self-sustaining.
The group has helped me understand that being an amputee doesn't mean you can't do anything. That alone has helped me get to another stage in life, because life goes on. The association is like a family to me, that I belong to, that makes me very happy
The late, great Musa Kandeh - former president of The Gambian Amputee Association