Rwanda


The need for low-cost prosthetic limbs in the developing world has been recognized for quite some time. Despite the best efforts of non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and other charities, upwards of 95% of amputee patients in developing countries do not have access to affordable devices and resources for proper care. Current devices, local and imported, are largely ineffective; locally manufactured devices are ineffective due to manufacturing inconsistencies and devices donated by developed countries typically are too complex to service or repair. In particular, Rwanda faces its own unique struggles with this problem. Twenty years on, the nation finds itself rebuilding from the effects of the 1990-1995 civil war and still faces infrastructural deficiencies in medical research Lower-limb amputation remains prevalent, in large part due to victims of landmines strewn throughout the countryside. These amputations have been shown to exacerbate other societal problems plaguing Rwanda such as drug use, unemployment, and depression. There exists a need to develop a locally produced, reliable lower-limb prosthesis. In order for this project to be successful in delivering useful prostheses to the patients in Rwanda, we must (i) facilitate successful technology transfer and (ii) develop a successful device.