ICC: High Demand For Prosthetic Limbs In Northern Uganda

The International Criminal court ICC has said that there is high demand for prosthetic limbs in northern Uganda following an end to insurgency.
Orhopedic workshop in Gulu

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The International Criminal court (ICC) has said that there is high demand for prosthetic limbs in northern Uganda following an end to insurgency.

The LRA war led by Joseph Kony ravaged the northern part of the country for over two decades leading to death and injury of thousands, displacement of millions of people into internally displaced peoples camps, while thousands of children were abducted and went missing.

As a result of the war, several people lost their limbs; many had ears, nose and mouths maimed among others.

Now the ICC has said that there is a very high demand of artificial limbs, that need to be given to newly identified injured persons, victims whose prosthetics have worn out among both the children and adults.

According to Scott Bartell, the Programs Manager of Trust Funds for Victims in Uganda under the ICC, physical injuries in northern Uganda is hindering economic development. He says that the ICC now hopes to focus on physical injuries and psycho-social support for northern Uganda for next five years.

He says for instance the orthopedic workshop in Gulu is overwhelmed by a waiting list of over 120 people quarterly needing prosthetic support either by replacement or new repair, but this is difficult as there are not so many supporters for this program.

He says that there is also need to operate hundreds of people with bullets stuck in their body from the war, saying that this is dangerous for the individuals.

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According to Bartell, currently an NGO, Avsi and the Ministry of Health is supporting the prosthetics and artificial limbs program, but the program still has shortfalls since the ICC's trust fund is the only donor for the program.

He says they hope to give the programme more focus for the next five years by enlisting more technicians, procure more devices and mechanics and reduce to be able to reduce on the burden. He says currently there are more people that need assistance than the money that is available.

According to ICC, up to 1.2 million euros is spent in Northern Uganda annually through the victims assistance program.

Upper prosthetic limbs cost averagely between 9-12 million Shillings, while the lower limbs start from 600,000 Shillings above.

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