21 January 2019

Tanzania: Over 120 Take First Steps On Their Prosthetic Legs

Dar es Salaam — People with disabilities have a potential of undertaking successful ventures if they make full use of their talents, it was said in Dar es Salaam yesterday.

Speaking during an event to handover 120 artificial limbs - donated by Kamal Group backed People's Empowerment Foundation (PEF) and the Rotary Club of Bahari (RCB) Dar es Salaam- deputy minister for State in the Prime Minister's Office (Policy, Parliamentary Affairs, Labour, Employment and Youth and the Disabled), Ms Stalla Ikupa, said physical disability was not mental disability.

"The worst thing that you can do is to believe that disability is bad," she said, thanking Kamal Group's PEF and RCB for being readily available to help people with disabilities.

About 120 people, who lost their limbs in various accidents, were able to walk again yesterday and thus engage in their income-generating activities.

This brings the total number of beneficiaries from Kamal Group's artificial limbs project to 370.

Speaking during the event, the Kamal Group chairman, Mr Gagan Gupta said the initiative seeks to empower people with disabilities in order to help them engage fully in their various income-generating activities easily.

"Economic opportunities for people with disabilities are limited due to many reasons. Through these prosthetic limbs project, we are playing our key role of empowering them so that they can carry out their activities smoothly," he said.

He said the company decided to come up with the initiative after realising that demand for prosthetic limbs in Tanzania was higher than the demand. With lower supply, he said, the price for the limbs in private facilities went high and that many people could not afford them.

The RCB's media official, Mr Diamond Carvalho, said yesterday that part of the funds for the processing of the artificial limbs were realised during last year's RCB Dar es Salaam's annual charity golf tournament where a total of Sh38.5 million was raised.

The project involves selection, measurement and delivery of bespoke limbs.

By working with PEF, a recognised charitable trust with a focus on economic empowerment that provides bespoke limbs at no cost, RCB believes it will be able to reach out to the community in providing the full limb service.

"PEF makes all of their limbs in Tanzania and have a full production team that sources local materials in the production of the limbs," he said.

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