O&Pedia: Humanitarian O&P Organizations
Listed below are just a few of the many O&P organizations offering services to those in developing countries. Look for more coverage in our January issue of The O&P EDGE.
A Leg to Stand On: altso.org
A Let to Stand On (ALTSO) is a nonprofit organization that provides free orthopedic care, including prosthetic limbs, corrective surgery, and rehabilitative care, to children in the developing world who have lost limbs in traumatic accidents or suffer from congenital limb disabilities. To maximize its reach, ALTSO implements programs in local hospitals and clinics with solid track records in providing pediatric orthopedic care.
(The) Barr Foundation: wgbarrfoundation.org
The Barr Foundation helps to provide individuals with amputations, both domestically and abroad, with funding, treatment, and prosthetic devices. It also strives to advance education and improve community support for individuals with amputations. The Barr Foundation administers the Barr Foundation Amputee Assistance Fund, which provides financial assistance to U.S. individuals with amputations who have no other financial resources.
bump, formerly IPT and prior to that Illini Prosthetic Technologies, is a nonprofit organization that "designs, develops, and distributes empowering products." Its first project, the OpenSocket, is an affordable, and easy-to-fit transradial prosthetic arm that can be used with almost any terminal device. It is designed for use, and has been distributed, in developing countries.
Central American Medical Outreach: camo.org
Central American Medical Outreach (CAMO) seeks to build a network of long-term, multidisciplinary public healthcare providers who offer continuing care to needy families in Central America. CAMO operates a fully functioning prosthetics lab in Santa Rosa de Copán, Honduras, that serves patients in need of prosthetic limbs, orthotics, and braces.
Children of the Americas: www.childrenoftheamericas.org
Children of the Americas is a nonprofit organization dedicated to providing medical and surgical services to indigent children and their families in rural Guatemala. According to its website, its "orthotics and prosthetics program continues to be a vital part of providing healthy self-sufficiency in rural Central America."
FOOT Foundation: footfoundation2007.wix.com/footfoundation
The FOOT (Florida O&P Outreach Team) Foundation, was founded by Dino Scanio, CO, and his wife Lisa, to provide O&P services to children and adults in Guatemala. The foundation also assists one Florida-based charity annually.
International Orthopedic Rehabilitation Organization for Isolated Disabled People: ioro.org
The International Orthopedic Rehabilitation Organization (IORO) for Isolated Disabled People offers several programs to help people with physical disabilities, including an O&P program to repair and fabricate prosthetic limbs and orthoses. At this time, their efforts are focused on Liberia, West Africa.
Limbs for Life: www.limbsforlife.org
Limbs for Life serves as a repository for donations of used limbs. The limbs are broken down into components and, upon request, are sent to third-world countries so they can be used to make limbs for non-U.S. citizens. It works through mission groups and larger foundations that fund humanitarian trips all over the world. Locally, Limbs for Life provides financial assistance to U.S. citizens who have no other means to pay for prostheses by working with prosthetic clinics.
Mission of Hope Haiti / Prosthetics of Hope: mohhaiti.org
Mission of Hope (MOH) Haiti is a Christian nonprofit organization that, among other things, operates the Prosthetics of Hope clinic, which was founded after the 2010 earthquake just west of Port-au-Prince. The clinic has been making prosthetic limbs and providing and maintaining prosthetic care to patients and amputees in need.
Project Medishare: www.projectmedishare.org
Project Medishare provides comprehensive health and development services and building capacity in Haiti. It also operates Haiti's most advanced prosthetics clinic where, in addition to fitting and fabricating prosthetic limbs, it offers an amputee "injury to ability" program, trains and mentors local amputees to become prosthetic technicians, operates mobile prosthetics clinics, and supports a return-to-sport amputee soccer program.
Prosthetic Hope International: sonrieministries.org
Prosthetic Hope International (PHI), formerly Sonrie Ministries, is committed to providing prosthetic care for amputees in Central America and the Caribbean. It strives to fabricate comfortable and custom-fit prosthetic limbs that are appropriate for the climate and topography of each patient's home country, functional for the patient's activity level and lifestyle, and sustainable in-country by local technicians. PHI also operates the Project-Hope Belize (PHB) O&P clinic, Orange Walk Town, Belize, Central America.
Editor's note: Prosthetic Hope International plans to launch a new website in the near future: prosthetichope.org
Prosthetics for Life Foundation: prostheticsforlife.org
Prosthetics for Life Foundation, also known as Fundación Prótesis Para la Vida, provides low-cost prostheses and orthoses in Ecuador to those in need. The project is staffed and operational year round by Ecuadorans. Foreign volunteers provide infusions of training, donated parts, and collaboration several times per year.
Step by Step Missions: www.stepbystepmissions.com
Step by Step Missions is a nonprofit Christian-based mission organization that provides prosthetic services to people in Africa who are living with an amputation, with a particular focus on people with albinism who are living with amputations as a result of black market activities and traditional beliefs.