For Children Around the Globe, Mobility Is About More Than Movement
Advocacy Learn how a reasonably priced prosthesis can have a profound and lasting impact the life of a child in the developing world.
Think for a moment about a child in the developing world. On average, their combined family income is less than $3. As we’ve realized here at A Leg To Stand On (ALTSO), the challenges aren’t hard to imagine. Food and water can be scarce, housing options are minimal and medical assistance is hard to come by.
It is common for a child to need adjustments, repairs or replacements to a prosthetic every six months through the age of 20.
But for a child who also suffers from an untreated limb disability, that just scratches the surface. Without the ability to move independently, they must rely on family for even the most basic tasks.
On average, schools are three miles away. That leaves no way to physically attend — and public transportation, even if available, is far too expensive. Even worse, with no other option for care, one parent frequently stays home to care for the child, halving the family’s already minimal income.
In the United States, a pediatric prosthetic costs a minimum of $10,000. Jaw dropping, right? Not to mention children are always growing — fast. It is common for a child to need adjustments, repairs or replacements to a prosthetic every six months through the age of 20. Basic math tells you the odds are not in their favor.
A special solution
Thankfully, that’s where ALTSO steps in. In 2017, we worked with manufacturers in India to develop The Joshi, a modular prosthetic limb specially designed for children and adolescents in the developing world.
The lightweight materials offer ease of movement, especially to young children. They are specially coated to withstand climates and terrains where our patients live. Being modular, one piece can be swapped out as needed for repairs or as a child grows, rather than replacing an entire device. Not to mention kids love showing off the sleek, modern look. But the best part? ALTSO offers every patient care through the age of 21 at absolutely no cost to them or their families.
Suddenly a child who felt like a burden, had little to no self-worth and never had the chance to earn an education has the chance for a life they never dreamed of. Mobility is opportunity. It’s independence and self-esteem. Mobility is education and dignity. It’s hope for a better future. Mobility is so much more than movement.