From the Field: Universidad Católica, Santo Domingo
Written by: Homer Babbitt
Note: Physicians for Peace designed its Walking Free program to educate and train prosthetic, orthotic, and rehabilitation providers in underserved regions. The project assists both government and nongovernment entities to enhance their established prosthetic and orthotic (P&O) rehabilitation centers. This week our team is in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic.
Physicians for Peace staff member Homer Babbitt describes his experience with us in his own words…
On day two of our mission we were able to see how our Gifts in Kind program really makes a difference in the Walking Free Program especially for the patients treated by our trainees. First, we were able to see the inventory of donated prosthetic components and supplies. This included a room full of donated prosthetic feet organized by size on shelves. There were also several boxes of necessary component parts and large sheets of plastic used to create the orthotics and prosthetic limbs. All of these items were donated to the program and many from the Physicians for Peace Gifts in Kind program.
In the prosthetic lab, the technicians in training assembled a leg for a woman who lost her leg above the knee in a car accident 6 years before. Since this is her first prosthetic limb it was a simple assembly with a non-flexible knee joint. Today she is being fitted and beginning to learn to walk in her new prosthesis.
She will now have greater mobility and freedom thanks to the donated supplies and parts from the Gifts in Kind program. In addition, the technician trained by Physicians for Peace, now has the capability to build the prosthetic limb, fit the patient for the limb, and maintain the prosthetic limb. Donations of all sizes and types are essential to enable Physicians for Peace to train, support, and empower healthcare professionals throughout the world. Our supporters, International Medical Educators, volunteers and donors make it possible to have a tremendous impact on the lives of individuals around the world.