Jon Batzdorff traveled to Bogota Columbia to work with Hughes International Clinics, fitting landmine victims with prostheses. The project involved a combination of direct assistance along with teaching local prosthetists, therapists, and technicians. The US team included expert prosthetists, therapists, and a technician to serve as mentors and also five prosthetics students from Georgia Tech Prosthetic program.
We worked at Fundacion Cirec, a Colombia non-profit rehabilitation facility in Bogota. While Cirec works with people of all various economic resources, throughout the year, we assisted with those people who cannot pay at all for prosthetic devices. The prostheses we fit are free from charge to the amputees.
All in all the project was a big success with 31 amputees successfully fit with prostheses. We also shared knowledge and transferred technology.
Columbia has one of the most significant numbers of civilian landmine casualties in the world. The people we worked with were men, women, and children, all civilians, who happened upon the mines when tending gardens, animals, or farms or just playing in the outdoors.
Many more amputees are on the waiting list for new prosthetic devices. Jim Hughes has been organizing the clinics, and we intend to participate regularly in the future, as long as the need is there.