From June 2011 to November 2014, ELoH supported 50 child amputees in the Kagera region of Tanzania. Having gained a deep understanding of the complex medical issues child amputees face due to the traumatic personal experience of the Hope family, we have invested in a project which will leave a true legacy of hope.
On top of providing direct funding to fit 50 children with prosthetic limbs, ELoH has also financed the training of new physiotherapists and of orthopaedic surgeons. He performed several vital amputations and has treated hundreds of cases of osteomylitus, club foot and fractures which, if unattended or poorly managed, can lead to limb loss.
Physiotherapists and surgeon work in a newly established Jaipur Limb Clinic, which ELoH has also supported. To reach out into rural areas, we have also funded mobile clinics to reach some of the most isolated amputees, and a community-based rehabilitation programme.
The Jaipur Limb Clinic is the only clinic of its kind to support limbless people in the Kagera region of Tanzania, which is now in a position to become a centre of excellence for orthopaedics, prosthetics and physiotherapy in the Lake Victoria region of Tanzania. The clinics use the locally manufactured Jaipur Foot prosthetic technology.
The clinic is now up and running self-sufficiently.
Who? From June 2011 to November 2014, ELoH directly supported 50 child amputees and funded a surgeon who treated hundreds more.
Where? The project was located in the Kagera region of Tanzania, which is situated in the north-west, on the western shore of Lake Victoria. The region neighbours Uganda, Rwanda, and Burundi and is thus ideally located for such an investment in the region’s health infrastructure.
What? Provision of prosthetics and physiotherapy to child amputees, investment in hopsital and mobile clinics, funding of medical professionals.
Our partner organisation? ELoH has been working with Friends of the Children of Tanzania (FoCT ) to implement this project. FoCT is a UK-registered charity which was established in 2007 to support the medical and educational needs of disabled and vulnerable orphans and their carers in Tanzania.
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.