I was contacted by Christopher Eliufo alerting me to the plight of amputees in Tanzania. I should clarify that it’s not just the plight but the sheer numbers of amputees of all ages. Many of them children and young people. Tanzanian amputees need our help.
The majority of amputations are caused by vehicle accidents and the number increases every day. Just after I first heard from Christopher, the Al-Saedy bus from Tabora to Dar went off the road. Thankfully there were no deaths but injuries resulting in yet more loss of limbs. Yet more people needing prosthetics they will be very fortunate to receive.
As you will see from the Patient Profiles linked at the bottom of this post, there are numerous reasons why Tanzanian amputees need our help. Individuals of all ages and occupations end up requiring prosthetic limbs simply to be able to do the things we take for granted. Many children are born with missing limbs and limb difference; horrific attacks by hyenas are common; one young person featured lost a hand when it was cut off by someone who was arguing with their father…
Children unfortunate enough to be born with albinism in Tanzania are believed to be ghosts or “haunted beings”, or to be able to harness magic powers. They frequently have limbs “stolen” to be sold by witch doctors for large sums. Alternatively they may be blamed and punished when natural disasters occur. (You can find links relating to the deadly issues facing albinos in Africa at the bottom of this post.)
The inequity across the globe when it comes to the treatment, ongoing support and provision of prosthetics for amputees is terrible and the gap seems to be widening rather than diminishing. How can we forget so easily that we are a global people and geography shouldn’t govern such basic human needs?
As an added complication for people needing prosthetics in Tanzania, you will see from the images below and those included in the Patients Profiles, that frequently amputations are done in a way that will make it difficult or painful for the amputee to wear prosthetic limbs and further operations may be necessary.
As reported in the previous post, it is wonderful news that Blatchford has updated its Orion3 Microprocessor Knee to make it water resistant, enabling more freedom for its wearers. However, the contrast between that freedom coming at a cost of more than $30-40,000 for each individual prosthetic knee and the situation for an amputee in Tanzania and other poor countries who will be unlikely to get a prosthetic at all currently, is stark indeed. It is one of the examples of global inequality that is difficult to assimilate. These people are the same as us: born with feelings, with hopes and fears, with the desire to live a good life, raise families and – simply – be able to perform the basic tasks that enable them to carry on working, running a home or caring for each other.
I’m so grateful to Christopher for bringing the situation for amputees in Tanzania to my attention. While I had some knowledge that life can be difficult for people requiring prosthetics in low-income and developing countries, to my shame I hadn’t realised how difficult. Christopher is passionate about improving the situation for amputees in his country and since contacting me and learning that the DBF Charity Remit restricts us to helping amputees and people with disabilities in the UK only, has done a huge amount of work to enable us to help them. I hope you agree that this is such a cruel inequality and that as fellow human beings, we have a duty to try to improve life for those disadvantaged by their circumstances. Circumstances that any one of us could have been born into. It’s salutary to think that we equally could be any one of the amputees whose photographs and profiles you can see and read here.
DBF may be restricted to supporting amputees and people with disabilities in the UK but we can raise awareness of the hardship being endured by those in other parts of the world and ask for your compassion, empathy and support. You can donate to help these people or to sponsor an individual amputee as Christopher explains below. Please do give generously to help those less fortunate than ourselves. Times are undoubtedly tough at the moment in the UK but still we are, in many ways we possibly take for granted, so blessed.
Tanzanian Amputees need our help…How you can be involved
I hope this email finds you well.
I am writing to inform you about our fundraising campaign we wish to create to support an amputee. We are currently accepting donations from individuals who are willing to make a difference in someone’s life.
To make the donation process more accessible, we are accepting funds through Skrill or PayPal. Donors can send their contributions to our email address (live link below). Once we receive the money, we can easily transfer it to our bank account, and the entire amount will directly go towards supporting the amputee.
We are facing some challenges with bank transfers by beneficiaries, so we strongly recommend using Skrill or PayPal for the time being.
We guarantee that every penny donated will be utilized to support the amputee. Once we receive the funds, we will create a detailed report, including video and photos, to show the donors how their donation has made a difference in someone’s life.
We understand that by working together, we can make the world a better place, and we appreciate your support in helping us achieve our goal.
Thank you for your time and consideration.
Together we can change lives Wendy McCleave – Douglas Bader Foundation
“Welcome to our fundraising campaign dedicated to supporting amputees in Tanzania. We believe that by joining hands and working together, we can make a meaningful difference in the lives of those who have experienced limb loss. Our goal is to raise funds to provide essential support, rehabilitation services, and opportunities for amputees to lead fulfilling lives. Your involvement in this campaign can help empower amputees and create a more inclusive and supportive society.
The Situation in Tanzania:
Tanzanian amputees need our help as they face significant challenges due to limited resources and support. Many struggle to access prosthetic limbs, medical care, and rehabilitation services, impacting their mobility, independence, and overall well-being. By fundraising for amputees in Tanzania, we aim to address these gaps and provide them with the assistance they need to overcome obstacles and thrive.
This study demonstrates that amputees in Tanzania experience a high rate of post-operative complications, poor quality of life, and extremely limited access to prosthetics. The Lancet Global Health, March 2018, see link below)
Our mission is to empower amputees in Tanzania by raising funds to support the following areas:
i. Prosthetic Limbs:
Your generous donations will help us provide prosthetic limbs to amputees who cannot afford them. Access to prosthetics is crucial for restoring mobility and enabling amputees to participate fully in their communities.
ii. Rehabilitation and Physical Therapy:
We strive to ensure that amputees have access to comprehensive rehabilitation services and physical therapy programs. These services are essential for their recovery, adaptation, and the development of skills necessary for a more independent and active lifestyle.
iii. Skills Training and Employment Opportunities:
We believe in empowering amputees by equipping them with skills that enhance their employability. Through fundraising efforts, we can provide vocational training programs, entrepreneurship support, and job placement assistance, enabling amputees to secure sustainable livelihoods.
iv. Community Support and Awareness:
Building a compassionate and inclusive community is vital for amputees to thrive. We aim to organize awareness campaigns, engage in advocacy efforts, and foster support networks that promote understanding, acceptance, and equal opportunities for amputees in Tanzania.
How You Can Get Involved:
- Donate: Your financial contribution, no matter the amount, will make a significant impact on the lives of amputees in Tanzania. Donors can send their contributions to our email address (live link below) to make a secure donation. Using Skrill or PayPal for security is recommended. Every donation brings us closer to creating positive change.
- Fundraising Events: Consider organizing fundraising events such as charity walks, sports tournaments, or online campaigns to raise funds and awareness for amputees in Tanzania. Engage your community, friends, and colleagues to participate and contribute.
- Corporate Sponsorships: Encourage local businesses and corporations to support our cause by becoming sponsors or providing in-kind donations. Their involvement can help amplify the impact of our fundraising efforts.
- Spread the Word: Utilize social media, local publications, and community networks to spread awareness about our fundraising campaign. Share stories, testimonials, and statistics about amputees in Tanzania to inspire others to get involved and contribute.
Tanzanian amputees need our help. By joining hands and fundraising for amputees in Tanzania, we can create a tangible impact in their lives. Your support will provide amputees with the necessary resources, opportunities, and support systems to overcome challenges and lead fulfilling lives. Together, let’s empower amputees, create a more inclusive society, and ensure that no one is left behind. Join our fundraising campaign today and be a catalyst for positive change.”
* As advised, please satisfy yourself that your money is being transferred securely, via Skrill or Paypal ideally,
before making a donation.*
My sincere thanks to Christopher Eliufo for his passion, dedication and hard work in trying to create a fairer world for amputees and enabling the DBF to help him to do that.
Links (will open in new tabs):Email link for donations or further information:
- Email Christopher Eliufo for to make a donations or for more information:
- Email Wendy McCleave at DBF with any queries or for more information
- Patient Profiles – Tanzanian Amputees in Need of Prosthetic Limbs: This document really brings home the different reasons behind the amputations and makes you realise just why there are so many people living with amputations in Tanzania.
- The Forgotten and Ongoing Persecution of African Albinos – Article by Mathilde Villevielle for The Organisation of World Peace (March 20,2023)
- Quality of life and complications in lower limb amputees in Tanzania: results from a pilot study (March 2018)
- A New Lease on Life – ABC News report from December 28th 2017 about albino Tanzanian amputees who were hunted for their body parts.