According to a study published in the African Journal of Disability, 65 million people worldwide have had limbs amputated.
Amputee care is a service that most South Africans cannot afford. Prosthetics can cost anywhere between $20,000 and $100,000 USD. Sibongile Mongadi founded Ukuhamba Prosthetics, a small business that uses 3D technology to create low-cost prosthetic limbs out of recycled materials like water bottles.
She claims that a gum infection four years ago inspired her to start the company.
“I had a gum infection, so my local clinic referred me to my local hospital, and it was there that I witnessed and saw how difficult it is for our people to obtain prosthetics.” “On the same day, I engaged and attempted to put myself in the shoes of an amputee who was unable to access prosthetic limbs,” Mongadi explained.
Yes, it could not be me, but what if it is one of my loved ones? We have no idea what the future holds. I inquired about the nature of the issue. “The user informed me that he has been on the waiting list for over 5 years,” Mongadi added.
While Sibongile hopes to expand her small facility’s production of prosthetics, activity has been hampered by South Africa’s energy crisis.
“When we experience load shedding, it causes a delay in our turnaround time.” When a user came in, we used to tell them that their prosthetic would be ready in eight hours.”
Michael Stevens of Jumping Kids, an organization that provides and maintains quality prosthetic equipment for children, believes that while the old method of manufacturing technology has worked, the future is toward prosthetics with high-tech features like gyroscopes and accelerometers.
Mechanical solutions, which have been used for the last 30 years, should be becoming less expensive.
Prosthetics and amputation have been viewed as a niche issue, and only a few people will require this. As a result, because it lacks scale, it will become expensive.” Stevens, please explain
Prosthetic innovation, according to a McKinsey report, will improve global health by 2040. Innovative 3D-printed robotic prosthetic limbs may offer African amputees an affordable and high-quality alternative to traditional prostheses.