From December 2011 to October 2012, ELoH supported 16 child amputees in Dar es Salaam. Having gained a deep understanding of the complex medical issues child amputees face due to the traumatic personal experience of the Hope family, we supported a boarding school for disabled children.
The project directly sponsored 16 child amputees, aged between 8 and 15, who attended Matumaini School. Working with a hospital facility in Dar es Salaam, ELoH provided new prosthetic limbs, physiotherapy and covered all costs for surgeries including bone-trimming operations where necessary:
- 4 stump revisions performed
- 16 children fitted with new prosthesis, all recovering well
- All 16 children received follow-up rehabilitative support
Who? From December 2011 to October 2012, ELoH directly supported 17 child amputees.
Where? Matumaini School is situated in Tanzania’s capital, Dar es Salaam.
What? Provision of prosthetics, physiotherapy and life-saving surgeries to child amputees.
Our partner organisation? To implement this project, ELoH worked with Matumaini School for the Physically Disabled. Matumaini is a Boarding school for 198 children with physically disabilities. The school, which was opened in 1967, is the largest for physically handicapped children in the country and is attend by children from all districts in the country.
Why is our work important?
Despite recent improvements, Tanzania still ranks at 159 out of 187 countries on the Human Development Index and the situation for children with disabilities is particularly dire. There is no functioning national system for the identification and assessment of child amputees, and no coherent data to track or respond to their needs.
Though it is estimated that upwards from 8 % of the population have some sort of disability, only 0.35 % of all children enrolled in primary school were children with disabilities. Further, the few available support services available are concentrated in urban areas, meaning that child amputees living in rural or remote areas might not ever have access to professional care. As a result, only 7% of disabled adults have some livelihood and often feel totally excluded from the mainstream.
Children with albinism represent a particular at risk population. In Tanzania, albinos represent one in every 1429 births, a much higher percentage than in any other nation globally. Due to the rare but dangerous belief that certain body parts of albinos can transmit magical powers, albino children have been persecuted, killed and maimed, with arms and legs often being cut off to be used in rituals.