Govt, Ptolemy Reid Rehab Centre give 16 amputees receive prosthetic limbs

The content originally appeared on: INews Guyana

Losing one’s ability to walk or perform basic functions due to an accident or illness can be a devastating experience. Thankfully, the Ptolemy Reid Rehabilitation Centre is collaborating with the Ministry of Health to ensure that amputees lead a normal life despite their physical challenges.

Over the past week, a Lower Limb Prosthesis Manufacturing and Rehabilitation Capacity Building Programme for the fabrication of prosthetic limbs as well as amputees were conducted by California-based company, ProsthetiKa, which specialises in this area.

The capacity-building programme concluded on Friday with a simple ceremony that saw 16 amputees receiving their prostheses that will improve their ability to perform basic functions.

Another 17 persons will receive prostheses over the next few weeks.

One of the beneficiaries, Aueni Olutinde, a former rank of the Guyana Defence Force (GDF), lost both of his legs due to an underlying illness that he had developed over the years. Olutinde expressed his gratitude towards the government and the rehabilitation centre for providing him with the support he thought was not available in Guyana.

“I didn’t know we had this support, but we’re here … thank you to the Government of Guyana for making this possible and I would like to say, thank you, God,” Olutinde further stated.

Selena Ali expressed her satisfaction with the experience and said that amputations can have serious psychological impacts on their daily lives.

Nida Mila Albert, another beneficiary, added that she is grateful for the support but there is a need for more technicians to reduce the waiting time for prosthetic limbs.

Health Ministry’s Permanent Secretary Malcolm Watkins, who represented the subject minister, reiterated the government’s commitment to deliver equitable services to all, which includes people who require rehab services.

“We understand health is truly a nation’s wealth, it’s the wealth-building process and the Ministry of Health has a role to play to make sure that happens on all fronts. The minister has made his commitment from the policy level that we will continue to aggressively grow the rehab services through financing and budgeting,” he underscored.

Meanwhile, the Director of Rehabilitation Service, Dr. Ariane Mangar appealed to the ministry for more training in this specialized area as there are currently 300 persons with amputations in the country. The founder of ProsthetiKa, Jon Batzdorff, and the Senior Technician, J.E Simmons Orthotic & Prosthetic Workshop Collin Charles, delivered remarks at the closing ceremony. [DPI]