The Vanuatu Amputee Association (VAA) has produced 35 prosthetic legs and fitted on patients during their workshop this week.

Michael Shugg who is the President for the VAA said that they have two trainees and a prosthetist from Nepal who is here doing all the work at the moment.

“He is training the two ni-Vans who will later go to India or Cambodia to train and become first prosthetists in Vanuatu,” he said.

“We produced limbs in our workshop and we have patients come in, we measure, we make the limb here and they come four to five days later then we put the full limb on and they get up and walk, it’s a big thing.”

Mr Shugg said that they have started producing limbs here only a month ago, but they were importing limbs from Australia for starters and now they do it themselves here.

“We make the parts ourselves and it’s a fibre glass resin, liquid form then we harden it and produce the limb but the Ni-Vans are doing it now and there is need for more training.”

He also said that they sell the limbs at fair price and would give discounts to those with bilateral amputations.

“We have fitted four bilateral amputations but they still need to come in for update as the stumps do get smaller.

“We are encouraging people to visit us, doesn’t matter if you can or cannot afford, but we need to do assessments and we’ll do our own recognition of the situation and we want to help and the patient can pay off later.”

According to World Health Organisation records, Vanuatu has 5,400 amputees currently, but since the establishment of VAA in 2015, Mr Shugg said that they have fitted limbs to more than ninety patients.

The VAA workshop is located at Mele, behind the Samasama Store.

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