International Refugee Trust (IRT)

High-activity/low-cost prosthetics

This project provides high-activity/low-cost prosthetic legs for the developing world, where the amputee population is both far larger and younger than in the West. Beneficiaries will become more mobile, better able to gain work to lift themselves out of poverty, and will regain dignity and hope.

Donations open 12:00 PM, 3 December 2019 to 12:00 PM, 10 December 2019

open_in_new http://www.irt.org.uk

Registered Charity in England and Wales (802450)

Campaign target

£10,600

Amount raised

£9,850

Donations

39

Championed by The Reed Foundation - International

  • 'One of our clients was actually Masai. And you know Masai are cattle herders and they traverse a very harsh environment. This guy was very happy with this leg. He reported much more freedom of movement wherever he goes with his cattle.'

    — Dr Longini Mtalo, Tanzani Training Centre for Orthopaedic Technicians

  • 'After a short trial, I can say that this leg feels really good. Not a million miles away from my own [expensive, Western] leg. It's responsive. It's comfortable. I think I could wear it all day.'

    — Foreign affairs journalist and landmine amputee, Stuart Hughes.

  • 'This is an ideal foot; I like it the way it functions. It is very good when going downhill as it is easy to roll over. It has increased my walking speed and generally provide smooth gait.'

    — 'Respondent 2' from initial field trial for 20 beneficiaries in Tanzania.

  • 'This foot is durable; I have not seen any problem since when I started using this prosthesis. Also very good keel as it allows wide range of plantarflexion and dorsiflexion. I feel very comfortable when walking with this prosthesis.'

    — 'Respondent 1' from initial field trial for 20 beneficiaries in Tanzania.

Situation

80% of amputees live in the developing world, most are victims of conflict, accidents, and diseases. Estimates suggest 30,000+ Syrians lost limbs during the war. Without exception, the only available prosthetic leg systems would be judged unsuitable for use in the UK. There is no flex in the ankle, so normal movement is inhibited. Such artificial limbs are effectively peg legs, with the rigid foot as a stabiliser. Often, even such basic limbs are wholly unavailable or difficult to replace.

Solution

The ‘DC-3’ prosthetic limb flexes at the ankle. It closely mimics the natural action of the human foot, allowing a normal gait. It is light, scaleable, sustainable, suitable for fitting to high-activity users and very low cost. It easy to produce in a developing world workshop with very limited machinery. Already tested very successfully on 20 beneficiaries, the charity now wishes to move to the next stage of expansion on this truly transformational project.