By Byron Mutingwende
In a move meant to supply the market with prosthesis and orthosis equipment for people with disabilities, Leonard Cheshire Disability Zimbabwe (LCDZ) has installed a state-of-the-art orthopaedic workshop at its headquarters in Harare.
“LCDZ decided to include income generating projects in its financing structure to ensure that the organisation becomes less reliant on external sources of funding. The organisation made a decision to open an Orthopaedic workshop as part of implementation of this strategic vision. The orthopaedic workshop will be run in a sustainable manner, which must utilise its resources for the benefit of the organisation and its clients.
“The Orthopaedic workshop will produce prosthesis and orthosis. A market survey showed that these services are in demand with the current players in the industry being inconsistent in the supply of service. One of the existing service providers said their technologists are operating at a ratio of 1:80 patients instead of the recommended industry level of 1:8 patients,” said Cacius Chigwida, the LCDZ Business Development Manager
Greaterman Chivandire, the LCDZ Director said it was against the backdrop of these factors that the organisation sought for funding to open the workshop and a grant of US$250,000 was availed to finance the purchase of equipment and tools; taxes and transportation; labour for the first year of operation; materials to start operations; adaptation renovations and a logistics van.
The equipment was acquired from Ottobock South Africa. Ottobock are one of the leading manufacturers and distributors of mobility aids equipment in the world.
“The load departed South Africa for Zimbabwe in June 2018 and we received the equipment on 15 June 2018. The person responsible for the installation from our supplier was already at LCDZ. We offloaded the truck and placed the machinery and tools in their places the same day and on 16 June 2018 we finished the equipment installation. Machinery training was done on 17 June 2018,” Chivandire said.
The LCDZ Chief Orthopaedic Technologist said a post installation test run was successfully run and LCDZ is happy with the equipment.
The workshop floor space and plan generally meets the requirements of the authorities. The Technologist is qualified with the current and valid registration certificate to 31 December 2018 and is renewed annually. LCDZ expect this process to take not more than two weeks. Licensing is expected to before the end of July 2018.
The workshop was approved by City of Harare and is waiting for the same from the Medical Rehab Practitioners Council of Zimbabwe, the Health Professions Authority and the Association of Health Care Funders of Zimbabwe.