Canadian grant to fund inexpensive prostheses for amputees in Uganda, Guatemala

Two projects focusing on 3-D printing technology to aid amputees have been awarded grants from Grand Challenges Canada, funded by the Government of Canada.

Christian Blind Mission (cbm Canada), of Stouffville, Ontario, and the University of Victoria in British Columbia each have received a $112,000 CAD grant from the Grant Challenges Canada Stars in Global Health, according to a press release.

The cbm Canada project will use 3-D printing technology to create customized sockets — fitted to standard artificial prostheses provided by aid agencies — for child amputees in Uganda. The sockets cost about $3 each and are made of cornstarch-based polylactic acid plastic. They take less than 6 hours to create and can be replaced easily and inexpensively as the child grows.

The University of Victoria project will produce fully functional prosthetic hands for amputees in Guatemala, also with the use of 3-D printers. Tests will be conducted in the summer at a Guatemalan clinic with a small number of amputees. The project will then be expanded by the end of 2015, according to the release.


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