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Legs4Africa to ship prosthetic legs to Gambia

12 December 2014 - 9:49am

Legs4Africa has collected more than 1,000 prosthetic legs which the charity is sending to the Royal Victoria teaching hospital in Banjul, the capital of Gambia.

Legs 4 Africa

Paul Pierra in Banjul, Gambia, receiving Legs4Africa’s first delivery of a prosthetic leg in 2013 from Tom Williams

A container of prosthetic legs, donated by individual amputee donors and hospitals across the UK, is due to be shipped early in the new year.

Julia Earle said the British Association of Chartered Physiotherapists in Amputee Rehabilitation (Bacpar) endorsed calls for prosthetic components that can be reused outside the EU to be donated to charities, such as Legs4Africa.

Ms Earle is Bacpar’s public relations officer and a clinical specialist physiotherapist in amputee rehabilitation at Kent and Medway NHS and social care partnership trust. She explained that prosthetic limb manufacturers specify that they can only be used for one patient within the EU.

This means that most used limbs, along with many walking frames and crutches, are considered as biohazards to be discarded.

Tom Williams, co-founder of Legs4Africa, said that about 15,000 prosthetic legs are disposed of every year in the UK alone. Meanwhile, there is a pressing need for prosthetic legs in Gambia because of illnesses such as diabetes.

‘Legs4Africa’s network of volunteers say that they have only just skimmed the surface, and there is much more work to be done. Volunteers, funds and donations of prosthetic legs are needed,’ he said.

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