We normally provide the Jaipur type casual limbs (for adults) and provide the modular limbs which are better aligned to children and young adults. The cost of a modular limb is much higher than a casual limb. Since a child must obtain a new limb every six months as they grow, a properly aligned limb is critical to avoid posture and gait deviations. Any deviation caused by a prosthetic limb at this early stage will lead to complications when they become adults.
For adults the replacement will be based on wear and tear according to usage. It can be once a year to up to 3 years. While in use, they need minor adjustments or replacement of the foot piece due to wear and tear. If there is muscle wastage or gain, then the socket or inner liner may have to be changed.
Patients are informed when the mobile service goes outstation to enable them to obtain an appointment and come for the mobile service. This is especially beneficial for children as many parents are unable to bring their children and come to Colombo to obtain the limb every 6 months as stipulated.
This covers both primary (1st time users) and secondary (the 2nd limb onwards) patients. Usually when a limb is provided for the 1st time, the person has to come to the center in Colombo and stay in the ward / hostel while the limb is manufactured and obtain physiotherapy treatment, limb fitting, adjustment, gait and posture training over a period of 5 to 10 days.
By providing a limb to a child we help them get back to their school and take part in educational and sports activities. They are better able to reintegrate into society. We must create better awareness as there is a social stigma when you go through an amputation or when you have a partially developed limb in Sri Lanka. People attribute it to past Karma, and all kinds of weird mumbo jumbo which marginalizes such a person and access to normal facilities is limited. Our greatest challenge is to change the mindset of society, to accept every person differently abled and allow them access to all facilities available to all of us normally.
If you can come up with a media campaign to at least change the mindset of people, we can have an inclusive society with equal opportunities. This is what we humbly request from everyone.