New ICRC technology helps Jaffna amputees

[TamilNet, Sunday, 20 May 2001, 05:33 GMT]
serge_marmy.jpgMr. Serge Marme, Head of ICRC Sub-delegation in Jaffna addressing a press conference in Jaffna about the organisation's activities in the peninsula Saturday afternoon said

"In Jaffna, in the year 2000, ICRC visited 162 detainees held by the security forces, assessing their treatment and material and psychological conditions of detention, organised 11 family visits to detainees by providing families transport and financial assistance, reunited 3 persons who had been separated with their families by the conflict and transferred the mortal remains of 135 LTTE combatants killed on the battlefield in the peninsula, from Jaffna to the Vanni".

"For the past 11 years, ICRC in Jaffna has had an unbroken presence where the civilian population has now accepted its as an independent and neutral presence amidst the conflict", Mr. Serge Marme said. The ICRC escorts the civilian passenger ferry 'City Of Trinco' twice weekly from Jaffna to Trinco, transfers seriously ill patients from Jaffna to Colombo in the 'Jaya Gold', a vessel chartered by ICRC, he added.

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Below knee amputee being fitted with polypropylene prosthesis.
Mr. Anton Selvarajah, Dissemination Officer for Jaffna and Mr. Harasha Gunewardena Information Officer of the ICRC in Colombo were also present at the press briefing.

In the morning, journalists were given a three-hour lecture and demonstration in the manufacture and fitting of polypropylene prosthesis, by Gerald Fizpatrick, Prosthetist, ICRC Jaffna at the Friend-in-Need/ Jaipur Workshop. Fifteen amputees, including many land mine victims, were fitted with artificial limbs made from the new plastic technology introduced by ICRC. The journalists interviewed ICRC officials who were present. The workshop was held at the McLeod hospital in Inuvil, Jaffna.

Speaking on the organisation's work with amputees in the peninsula an ICRC official told journalists:

"For 14 years the Friend-in-Need Jaipur technology has become synonymous with a prosthesis in Jaffna, Colombo, Kandy, Galle."

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Ortho workshop with 2 technicians, above knee polypropylene prosthesis.
"Amputees should be given the best system available for them. Now, with the introduction of polypylene (PP) the amputee in Jaffna has a choice".

"Advantages of the new technology- comfort to the patient, low cost modern material, easy to transport and store, alignment system easy to work with to achieve a good walk for the patient, good system for diabetic and difficult patents to fit."

ICRC press conference with journalists from Jaffna at ortho workshop. "Year 2001 has shown promising results towards PP technology. Thirty-eight prosthesis were fabricated up to April this year. Now half the total production of limbs is made at the workshop."

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"Bearing in mind that amputees are disabled for life, the ICRC pursues two objectives- to assist the disabled and to leave a functional structure capable of continuing to provide rehabilitation services in the long term."

"Crucial elements of this approach are training and low cost. At present 25 out of 51 projects in 11 countries have been handed over to their respective counterparts or NGOs," the ICRC official said.

 

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