Leicester, United Kingdom – After months of fundraising and preparation, Legs4Africa is sending a 1,000 life-changing prosthetic limbs to mobility departments in West Africa.
The legs will be freely given to partnering mobility units in Banjul (Gambia) and Dakar (Senegal), which have the facilities and expertise to readapt them to fit their amputee recipient at no cost. Amputation is a serious issue in West Africa due to diabetes, road accidents, and civil war; a prosthetic leg would usually cost well over the average annual salary (£350).
To fund the shipping and transport, we’ve just enjoyed a successful crowdfunding campaign and raised £2,000. The cargo will leave England on January 24 and arrive in Gambia in mid-February.
Legs4Africa is a new charity run by a group of volunteers whose efforts are focused towards collecting redundant prosthetic legs from hospitals and individual donors throughout the UK.
They’re prosthetics that cannot be reused due to EU regulations.
Dr Gabu, head of prosthesis in Gambia, says: “Before Legs4Africa, we were receiving about 20 legs from abroad a year, most of the legs we worked on came from deceased Gambian amputees, but now we can really help the countries disabled.”
Legs4Africa founder Tom Williams adds: “It is an immensely personal and rewarding feeling to offer someone the independence that comes with a prosthetic leg, especially when they would just be scrapped in the UK.”
Legs4Africa is partnered with a handful of UK companies and hospitals, and a network of external volunteers. Building company Adrian Dale provides pallets; Pallex helps with transport logistics; DS Smith Hinkley sorts us out with packaging; and Ground Qube grants the charity transport and man power.
In April 2014, Legs4Africa sent out 500 legs to The Gambia. Now, they’ve all been used, and we’re eager to help others and achieve more. Throughout 2015 the team expects to collect around 2,000 legs. We follow the progress with our connections overseas and see exactly how they’re used, and meet some of the people who’ve seen their lives improve as a result of our work.
For photos please visit Dropbox: www.dropbox.com/sh/x9rl733osc535ts/AACFiAAUpxN9Qtm2WyTE0U3Sa
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For more information please visit: www.legs4africa.org