Stephen congenital defect bilateral amputee child amputee ELoH TanzaniaStephen was born with a congenital defect which led to the amputation of both his lower limbs while he was still very little. His parents, who are casual labourers, earn less than $100 per month combined. They knew that they would never be able to afford to pay the $300 required for just one prosthetic limb. And their son needed two.

Stephen came to the ELoH co-sponsored Lake Victoria prosthetics centre in 2014 when he was 10 years old, and became part of our project with Friends of the Children of Tanzania. Before the establishment of the Lake Victoria prosthetics centre, children like Stephen had to travel by bus for two days to reach Dar es Salaam. Another option was to make the costly and time-consuming trip to neighbouring Uganda or Kenya in order to access orthopaedic services.

We fitted Stephen with two prosthetic legs in 2014, which have greatly increased his mobility and which he would otherwise not have been able to afford. However, as a young bilateral amputee, Stephen tires easily. Therefore, he sometimes uses a combination of wheelchair and prosthetic limbs to get around. This combination, however, has enabled him to go back to school, and, to his and his parents’ delight, he is now in class two in the town of Mwanza,  on the south side of Lake Victoria.

Photo courtesy of Friends of the Children of Tanzania