I recently saw an article for a “low cost prosthesis” and was immediately intrigued. I have been searching for a solution that is affordable for Guatemala, and I thought this might just be the ticket. After reading the article, however; I realized the advertised prosthesis was not low cost unless you factor in the use of donated components.
Using donated pieces and parts is a solution, but is not a long term or sustainable avenue. I have struggled with using new versus used components as well, along with determining what is appropriate for the activity level and environment of the patient. My conclusion is that we must think outside of the idea of donations and find manufactures that will discount products for the developing world and pay them for it. I believe that there are great possibilities for creating relationships with manufacturers that want to change the world and together we can develop a prosthesis that is durable, cost effective, and built with all new components. A prosthesis like this will allow all amputees throughout the world access to a brand new prosthesis, custom-made for them.