WRF first piloted the OK Prosthetics limb in the 2006 earthquake-impacted areas of Balakot and Monsiera, Pakistan. This effort was conducted over 9 days in partnership with the Pakistan Society for Rehabilitation of the Disabled (PSRD) with the original goal of fitting 50 amputees. However, due to the overwhelming need, the team assisted 58 individuals at PSRD in Lahore. They then confirmed the concept that this limb can be fitted in the field by providing on-site services to 14 additional amputees in Balakot and Monsiera. The limb proved suitable for below the knee (BK) amputees of all sizes with no extenuating circumstances (i.e. in need of stump revisions, etc.).
The WRF team trained seven PSRD staff members in one week and then focused most of their efforts on supervision of the newly-trained technicians. The team tested their theory that those being trained did not require a technical background in order to master the skills necessary to become a technician. They proved this by training one of the amputees after he received his limb. He was able to fit others immediately.
Based on the success of this effort, WRF is planning the implementation of a larger program in Afghanistan.
The Limb in Action
An unkempt young woman, void of any self esteem, approached the WRF team. This mother of 3 small children had lost her leg as a result of a violent attack. Once she received her new limb, she walked immediately with no gait training. With a small stipend provided by the team, she purchased new clothes and arrived the following day, radiating a level of confidence that made her unrecognizable from the person she was just the day before.
She announced that she planned to leave her abusive marriage and return to work as a housekeeper. She was so pleased with the outcome of her fitting that she brought another amputee with her for services. The WRF pilot highlighted the ease of local training and the appropriateness of the limb system for this region of the world.