Government launches fitment project at military hospital

Group photo of government officials and Indian Envoy in Juba/(Photo credit Ephraim Modi D.S)

By Ephraim Modi D.S

The government of South Sudan through the ministry of defense and the Indian Embassy in the country yesterday launched the Artificial Limb Fitment project at Juba military hospital.

The project is meant to benefit amputees to have their missing limbs replaced.

In her opening speech, the minister of Defense and Veteran Affairs, Angelina Teny commended Indian government and Jaipur Organization for the support, saying the project would assist wounded soldiers and civilians to recover their missing legs or arms.

She said that though the initiative took years, it has materialized now and is a chance for the physically impaired persons in the country to have their fitting limbs.

“This program for us, we are grateful to receive it, it has offered freedom to them(handicapped), this limb will allow you to gain the freedom to live a normal live as somebody who has (not) been disadvantaged by a certain disability,” Angelina Teny said.

“We are fitting like about 550 limbs, they are going to be here for six weeks but we are so ambitious that this program must continue here, the workshop is very movable, we believe this will help us to improve on the data of those who are having issues with limb in the whole of our country,” she continued.

The defense minister further said that the sophisticated – artificial limb fitment project studies are being taught at the universities in the first world countries like United States of America among others.

She emphasized that the project should not only be in Juba but be extended to other states.

The minister has urged partners to support people with disabilities and also offer training opportunities.

However, the Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs, Deng Dau in his speech said the disabled which require such support can help free passage to their destinations.

He applauded the defense minister Angelina Teny for liaising with the Indian counterparts.

“I might recall that South Sudan has over 50,000 war disable among which there are amputees below knee and above knee. These people need support so that they can walk like all of us, so that they can go to their places of work,” he said.

On the other hand, the Indian Ambassador in Juba, Vishnu Kumar Sharma appealed to the partners to continue with the project.

The Ambassador acknowledged government for giving them privilege to embark on projects in the young nation.

He said that, initially, their aim was to cover 500 amputees, but said they will continue to help South Sudanese, adding that they are exploring other opportunities.

Daniel Akot, one of the wounded soldiers who joined Red-Army in his childhood and one of the beneficiaries called on people with disabilities to never feel that they are less advantaged saying disability is not inability.

Akot got his injury following a landmine explosion, and said that the artificial leg he is going to receive would help him much.

“I came yesterday for measurement and today I am here to receive my artificial leg, this artificial leg looks really good, it’s the modern one, it allows you to relax,” Akot told No.1 Citizen Daily Newspaper.

“Being physically impaired or disabled doesn’t mean that you are useless, as we speak, we have already organized football for amputees at Nyakuron Cultural Centre under Amputee Football Federation,” he added.  

The project is the first-ever Artificial Limb Fitment project in the country supported by the government of India through its ministry of External Affairs in partnership with Indian organization known as BMVSS Jaipur.

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