MIT’s K. Lisa Yang Center for Bionics has entered right into a collaboration with the government of Sierra Leone to strengthen the capabilities and companies of that nation’s orthotic and prosthetic (O&P) sector. Tens of 1000’s of individuals in Sierra Leone want orthotic braces and synthetic limbs, however entry to such specialised medical care on this African nation is restricted.
The settlement between MIT, the Middle for Bionics, and Sierra Leone’s Ministry of Health and Sanitation (MoHS) supplies an in depth memorandum of understanding (MOU) and intentions that will start as a four-year program. The collaborators goal to strengthen Sierra Leone’s O&P sector by way of six key targets: information assortment and clinic operations, training, provide chain, infrastructure, new applied sciences, and cell supply of companies.
Venture targets embrace:
- information assortment and clinic operations: gather complete information on epidemiology, want, utilization, and entry for O&P companies throughout the nation;
- training: create an inclusive training and coaching program for the individuals of Sierra Leone, to allow sustainable and impartial operation of O&P companies;
- provide chain: set up provide chains for prosthetic and orthotic elements, components, and supplies for fabrication of gadgets;
- infrastructure: put together infrastructure (e.g., bodily house, enough water, energy, and web) to help elevated manufacturing and companies;
- new applied sciences: develop and translate progressive applied sciences with potential to enhance O&P clinic operations and administration, affected person mobility, and the design or fabrication of gadgets; and
- cell supply: help outreach companies and cell supply of look after sufferers in rural and difficult-to-reach areas.
Working collectively, MIT’s bionics middle and Sierra Leone’s MoHS goal to sustainably double the manufacturing and distribution of O&P companies at Sierra Leone’s Nationwide Rehabilitation Centre and Bo Clinics over the following 4 years.
The crew of MIT scientists who will implement this novel collaboration is led by Hugh Herr, MIT professor of media arts and sciences. Herr, himself a double amputee, serves as co-director of the Ok. Lisa Yang Middle for Bionics and heads the famend Biomechatronics analysis group on the MIT Media Lab.
“From academic companies to produce chain to new expertise, this essential MOU with the federal government of Sierra Leone will allow the middle to develop a broad, integrative method to the orthotic and prosthetic sector inside Sierra Leone, strengthening companies and restoring much-needed care to its residents,” notes Herr.
Sierra Leone’s Honorable Minister of Well being Austin Demby additionally states: “Because the Ministry of Well being and Sanitation continues to provoke efforts in direction of the attainment of common well being protection by way of the life levels method, this collaboration will foster entry, innovation, and capacity-building within the Orthotic and Prosthetic division. The ministry is happy to work with and study from MIT over the following 4 years in constructing resilient well being programs, particularly for weak teams.”
“Our crew at MIT brings collectively experience throughout disciplines from international well being programs to engineering and design,” provides Francesca Riccio-Ackerman, the graduate pupil lead for the MIT Sierra Leone undertaking. “This enables us to craft an progressive technique with Sierra Leone’s Ministry of Well being and Sanitation. Collectively we goal to enhance accessible orthotic and prosthetic look after individuals with disabilities.”