Express & Star

Black Country hospital trust celebrates donating hundreds of prosthetic limbs to good causes

A hospital trust has celebrated donating a limestone number of prosthetic limbs to disadvantaged people in Africa.

From left: Dawn Crofts, clinical lead (RWT), Sue Hayes, specialist occupational therapist (RWT), Neula Hilton (Legs4Africa), Ray Smith, prosthetic technician, and Kaltoum Hamdani, prosthetic technician.

Wolverhampton's amputee rehabilitation service has reached a landmark number of charity donations – seeing hundreds of African people become more mobile with the aid of prosthetics.

Donations of artificial legs from the Royal Wolverhampton NHS Trust's Maltings Mobility Centre, near Wolverhampton city centre, have reached their highest amount since the charity Legs4Africa (L4A) started collecting data in 2019, with 225 prosthetic legs donated to date.

Project Get Legs to Africa 2023 allows L4A to collect unwanted legs from hospitals across the UK, Europe, USA and Canada, dismantling them into their usable components.

L4A then ships the parts to orthopaedic workshops across the sub-Saharan Africa region, where prosthetists and technicians use them to build or repair legs at a highly reduced price.

Lou Tisdale, clinical specialist physiotherapist in amputee rehabilitation at the Maltings Mobility Centre, said: "Wolverhampton's Limb Absence Rehabilitation service is always pleased to support Legs4Africa.

"When limbs are returned to us by patients no longer able to benefit from them or by a bereaved family I know it’s reassuring to those individuals that the parts will be used to promote independence in others."

Amputees in Uganda, Kenya, Rwanda, Senegal and Gambia have befitted from the donations of over 15,000 prosthetic legs since the charity started a decade ago.

Maurice Rondo, prosthetist/orthotist at AJMA Orthopaedic Services, Tanzania, said: "By receiving L4A prosthetic leg components, AJMA has reached the most vulnerable people in rural areas.

"These areas are lacking orthopaedic services and most amputees couldn’t afford to pay for prosthetic feet as well as travel costs to reach orthopaedic centres. In 2023, through L4A, 60 amputees are getting prosthetic legs at a very low cost."