In a bid to extend its humanitarian work, the government of India through the Indian Women Association (IWA) in Uganda has launched a camp to provide artificial limbs to amputees in Uganda.
The Chairperson of IWA, Suman Venkatesh said that the artifical limb fitment camp will target over 550 people in the next two months.
She said this while speaking at the launch of the event officiated by the Speaker of Parliament, Rebecca Kadaga on Sunday,29 November 2020 at Mulago Hospital, Kampala.
Venkatesh added that the limbs were supplied by an Indian firm called BMWVSS Jaipur limbs working with the Indian Government at an estimated cost of Ushs2-3 million per limb.
“This initiative is part of the celebrations of the 150th birth anniversary of Mahatma Ghandi. He held a conviction for charity and humanitarian causes and therefore, this project speaks to his beliefs,” she added.
Dr. Robert Orwotho, the head of the Orthopedic Department said that he was very appreciative to the government of India for coming to aid of the amputees.
He said that Mulago has a training wing for medical students from Makerere University and there are technicians who are willing to learn from those visiting from India on how to effectively and efficiently administer prosthesis.
“We would like to see these technicians share the knowledge with our staff so that we can keep doing it with the same speed and quality,” Dr. Orwoth added.
Orwotho appealed to the government to have the Orthopedic Department rehabilitated so that it can thoroughly do its work.
The High Commissioner of India to Uganda, HE Ajay Kumar said that the Government of India has organised 12 such camps in various developing countries especially in Africa since 2017.
“Losing a limb is a predicament only one would not wish to have so I am proud to associate myself with this project that is making the lives of amputees normal again,” Kumar said.
Speaker Kadaga commended IWA for the continuous engagement in charitable causes around the country and also expressed her gratitude to the Government of India for fostering the relationship between Uganda and India through such deeds of good gesture.
“When I got wind of this opportunity, I encouraged the people in my constituency to take up the offer and I am glad to see that there are people who have already benefited being able to walk,” she said.
She however took note of the deplorable state in which the Orthopedics department at Mulago was and promised to send the Committee of Health of Parliament to investigate and act on the state of infrastructure and equipment at the department.
Some of the beneficiaries included Shafiq Ssewuma, an amputee footballer who expressed his gratitude to the Indian Government and community in Uganda for being able to walk and play football again.
Benedict Bogere from Kamuli district thanked the Speaker for informing him of the opportunity and the Indian Community for giving them hope to walk again.
“It was difficult being unable to walk because it made it hard for us to engage in any activity of financial gain; there are so many things we can do now that we can walk,” he added.