Authorities at the Foundation of People with Disabilities Orthopedic Regional Workshop in Kabale town are seeking Shs. 300 million to renovate and rehabilitate their dilapidated structures.
The workshop was established in 1991 by Action on Disability and Development, a United Kingdom based agency, to serve people with disabilities in Kigezi, Ankole and parts of the neighboring countries of Rwanda and Democratic Republic of Congo, by making artificial limbs.
John Karisa, the Foundation’s project manager says ever since the facility was established, no single renovation has ever been done because of lack of funds.
Karisa says besides the lack of renovation funds, they face challenges of expensive materials used at the
Orthopedic workshop, most of which are imported from South Africa, Germany and other European countries.
“We need government support to a tune of about Shs. 300Million to renovate the buildings at the regional orthopedic workshop. We also need government grants to be able to purchase the materials used for the modeling of the artificial limbs because most of the people that require these limbs are poor accident victims while others have victims of diseases and born with disabilities,” said Karisa.
He notes that a complete artificial limb costs between Shs. 3m to Shs.4m depending on the size.
Whereas Rotary International offered to cover 90 percent of the total cost of every limb modeled, Karisa says some victims still cannot afford the cost of Shs 300,000= which is 10 percent of the total cost required because they are poor.
The facility, he says, also requires at a field vehicle that can help in transporting technical personnel to hard-to-reach areas where some people with disabilities are living in difficult situations.
Besides its work, regional orthopedic workshop is used as a meeting center for the people with disabilities for in house training on income generation, general behavior and personal conduct.
Lawrence Kiwanuka, the orthopedic technologist at the foundation of people with disabilities says some of the appliances modeled at the center include, artificial limbs for legs, arms, the spine, surgical shoes, calipers, clutches, walking sticks, wheel chairs among others.
About 800 people, he says, have received artificial limbs from this workshop ever since it was established but others have not because they could not afford the prices.
Loy Zikampereza the Kabale district council speaker says funds released from Kabale district local government to support the people with disabilities in the district are too little to facilitate a major renovation.
“What we can do is to amplify advocacy so that well-wishers can help in funding such major renovations. As Kabale district local government we do not have such budget allocations,” said Zikampereza.