24/7 Customer Service (800) 927-7671

e-NABLE Ghana Provides Free 3D Printed Prosthetic Hands

by • March 24, 2016 • No Comments

medium_e-NABLE_LogoSometimes a tiny act of kindness can lead to unexpected benefits for both the recipient and the great Samaritan, and can alter their lives forever. When I was barely a teen, my family took in a Ghanaian teenager, who utilized to babysit me and my little brother, when he had no place else to go. What was idea to be a temporary solution ended up becoming a permanent bond. I gained an older brother and I have benefitted of his insight and guidance over the years. Through my brother, Yaw, I became deeply interested in African affairs, and especially invested in news of Ghana and war-torn Liberia. When I learned of the work of e-NABLE Ghana, I knew which this was a story I had to cover.

We’ve written a lot of the great work of e-NABLE, a network of volunteer 3D printing enthusiasts which provide 3D printed hands free of charge to individuals with missing fingers, hands or partial lower limb loss. Amanda Cross wrote a blog post of the formation of the e-NABLE Ghana chapter and how its participants are changing amputees’ lives for the advantageous. Her husband, Joe Cross, started the e-NABLE Hungary chapter in November 2014. The chapter rapidly grew to over 20 volunteers and led to a strategic partnership with Stratasys. The chapter version proved to be quite successful and Cross teamed with e-NABLE volunteer Joseph Fairley to turn it into the e-NABLE Chapters team.

The work of e-NABLE Hungary did not go unnoticed. Hungarian-Ghanaian musician Sena Dagadu, who has a Ghanaian family member with a limb injury, wondered if the e-NABLE version may work in Ghana. Dagadu may imagine how 3D printing prosthetics may benefit Ghanaian.

“Wouldn’t it be rad if individuals in Ghana may see this kind of innovation,” says Dagadu. “(Imagine) the prospect of opening individuals’s eyes, not just to what was possible with 3D printing, but how it may unquestionably impact individuals with limb differences.”

12805800_1569422463376138_4572184927545700804_n

Volunteers inspect 3D printed hands. [All images courtesy of e-NABLE Ghana]

Inspired by Dagadu’s vision, Cross sought out the sole Ghanaian e-NABLE member, Ishmael Afful, to discuss creating a Ghana e-NABLE chapter. Afful had experience working with non-profits and was ready to assist.

“One evening I had seen a news report on 3D printing, I spent the night researching and reading of it online, and when I came across e-NABLE, I idea, this is a thing useful to do with the innovation,” says Afful.

Cross, Dagadu and Afful joined forces to discovered e-NABLE Ghana, and since there were no 3D printing devices in Ghana, it was up to e-NABLE Hungary to print the prosthetics and bring them to Ghana. As word of the project spread, other e-NABLE volunteers supplyd, got involved and starting sending hands of all around the world. In all, Cross brought 40 3D printed hands to Ghana. Dagadu utilized her media contacts to spread the word, to find volunteers and create partnerships.

Workshops were held to commence the 3D printed prosthetics to next recipients and their families. Over 50 individuals attended the meeting and meacertainments were taken for next recipients. The organizers stated which the demographics of their next recipients differed greatly of those of Hungary and other European nations, with many prosthetic hands going to children in those countries. At the e-NABLE Ghana meeting 90% of the attendees were adults and 90% of them were in require of a prosthetic. They in addition weren’t interested in scifi-based creates; they wanted hands to appear as effortless as possible, in both color and create.

Whilst there were primarily adults in attendance at the meeting, there was a 5-year-old girl named Lordina who was in require of a lower arm. She was selected to get an on-the-spot fitting. Lordina’s family was educated in the undertaking of e-NABLE and the innovation employed to create the prosthetics, so the family may feel effortless with committing to a 4-hour journey to the e-NABLE Ghana workshop. There is a social stigma attached to those who have limb differences, and the family wasn’t certain if a prosthetic may be a great thing for the young girl. Furtheradditional, they were amazed which the arm may be provided free of charge.

12829536_1577456155906102_3817695503174719535_o

Lordina with her new e-NABLE hand.

It just took 10 minutes of practice for Lordina to learn how to use her new prosthetic. Her family later reported the Lordina was via the hand at home, but they weren’t letting her wear it to school. Lordina is talking to her classmates of her new arm and the family can require additional convincing preceding they feel effortless with her wearing the arm in public.

Joe Cross with volunteers and e-NABLE hand recipient.

Joe Cross with volunteers and e-NABLE hand recipient.

40 3D printed arms arrive at e-NABLE Ghana.

40 3D printed arms arrive at e-NABLE Ghana.

Joe Cross preparing a prosthetic.

Joe Cross preparing a prosthetic.

Joe Cross fitting an arm on a recipient.

Joe Cross fitting an arm on a recipient.

Lordina getting her e-NABLE arm.

Lordina getting her e-NABLE arm.

Lordina via her e-NABLE arm.

Lordina via her e-NABLE arm.

Lordina via her e-NABLE arm.

Lordina via her e-NABLE arm.

There’s a lot additional which requires to be done to address the cultural barriers which stand in the way of widespread adoption of this innovation in Ghana. The participants of e-NABLE Ghana are rising to the challenge, but they require additional assist. The group is in require of 3D printing devices and donations of filament. If you’d like to supply or get involved with their work, you can contact e-NABLE Ghana at enablinghana@gmail.com. If you are interested in starting your own e-NABLE chapter, please contact enablechapters@gmail.com.

e-NABLE Ghana has in addition posted a Wish List of equipment and supplies on Amazon and an Indiegogo campaign for donations. If the work of e-NABLE Ghana has inspired you, please lend a assisting hand. Your tiny act of kindness can alter lives for the advantageous, which include your own.