Prosthetics for low-and-middle-income countries (LMICs) : challenges and opportunities

Buis, Arjan and Day, Sarah and Mukul, Pooja and Singh, Amit and Kandan, Karthik (2021) Prosthetics for low-and-middle-income countries (LMICs) : challenges and opportunities. In: International Society for Prosthetics and Orthotics 18th World Congress, 2021-11-01 - 2021-11-04, Virtual.

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The World Health Organisation estimates that 650 million people worldwide are disabled. Of those people, 80% currently live in Low- and Middle-Income countries (LMICs) that are often at various stages of economic development depending on active conflict or post conflict state. Fewer than 3% of persons with disabilities in LMIC’s have access to required rehabilitation services. Without access to the rehabilitation they require, those with disability may become entrenched in a cycle of poverty. There is a need for functional prosthetics which are affordable, robust, reliable and fit-for- purpose in resource constrained settings of LMICs. To address some of those LMICs developmental challenges, an integrated multidisciplinary partnership was convened between Indian and UK Engineers, Prosthetists, Healthcare professionals and experts from prosthesis manufactures, and public health NGOs. This consortium held exclusive networking meetings both in India and UK, supported by the UK Academy of Medical Sciences under Global Challenges Research Fund Networking Grants. The team also engaging with interdisciplinary research for developing Upcycled Plastic Prosthetic supported by the UK’s Royal Academy of Engineering Frontiers follow-on grant. This symposium will be delivering the findings from those research projects involved with LMICs as well as the UK stakeholders to inform the current thinking on the LMICs prosthetics requirements. These includes the unmet need of the LMICs amputees, capacity building to build skills across career stages with partners in LMICs during the preliminary trials of Upcycled Plastic Prosthetic, as well as integrating hands-off casting for prosthetic socket fabrication in LMICs protocol.