3D Printed Prosthetics for Colombia

Help us to continue transforming lives in 2019 - 2020. 

Volunteers from Colombia and all over the world are working together as part of the e-NABLE Medellín team, delivering personalized 3D printed assistive prosthetic devices to the disabled community in Colombia, free of charge. Increased access to and use of prosthetics is directly linked to higher levels of employment, increased quality of life, and improved self-esteem due to greater degrees of independence.
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Our 2019 goal was to double our impact and provide these devices to over 40 people in Colombia by the end of the year, as well as develop and roll-out our new robotic arm prototype and leg design into 2020.
 
e-NABLE Medellín has now distributed 27 personalized 3D printed assistive prosthetic devices so far this year. This month we have 4 more arms that have received their finishing touches and are ready for collection and 6 more recipients are expected to have completed prostheses by the end of the month. At this rate we will surely reach our goal of helping 40 people by the end of the year.
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Speaking about the work that e-NABLE does, the health secretary for the municipality of Girardota Alexander García Castro summarised the situation: “Some would say that people in need can access prosthetic limbs through Colombia’s national health service, but the protheses often aren’t available or they don’t offer complete functionality for the patient. Moreover, there’s a long waiting list and many families don’t have access to the service...e-NABLE Medellín not only helps the victims to return to their normal lives and regain their independence, but it also boosts their self-esteem and helps them to reintegrate back into society.” 
 
In 2019 – 2020 we will increase our impact by expanding our reach to a wider variety of recipients. We will do so by building upon our existing designs and developing new prototypes, with a particular focus on improving the robotic arm that we launched in July, and developing a prototype for an assistive leg device.

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We create personalized designs that recipients love; whether it is a device that matches their skin tone, a custom hand design that enables them to play the drums again, or a design that matches the colors of their favorite football team.

However, we receive no government support and to achieve these goals we rely on the generosity of our donors and people like you.
 
The difference we make with your donations:
 
María Isabel:  5 year-old María Isabel came to e-NABLE in 2018. She has a birth defect and had never had access to a prosthetic limb. She told us that she had always wanted to be a Disney princess and so we built her a personalized, easy-to-use arm device in the style of the Disney film Frozen. We printed a tiara to go with it and provided her with all the basic training sessions needed for her to feel comfortable with the device.
 
Luz Marina:  Luz Marina lost her arm nearly fifty years ago whilst working as a social leader fighting for workers’ rights in her local town. She continues to be active in her community today, although remains fully aware of the risks involved in driving social change in Colombia in rural areas. More than anything, Luz wanted to be able to write again with her right hand. With a fully customized prosthetic arm device e-NABLE were able to give this ability back to her after 50 years. Her smile was apt reward for the team.

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Colombia was ranked the second most mine-affected country in the world after Afghanistan in 2014. However, despite the 2016 peace accord between the government and the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC), the Red Cross’ Arms Contamination Unit reported a nearly 100 percent increase in landmine deaths from 2017 to 2018. Most of these were civilians.

The department of Antioquia, where we are based, has the largest number of landmine victims in Colombia.

At our current volumes, $US750 fully covers the cost of one prosthetic limb device, including: patient outreach; prosthetic design and 3D printing; prosthetic fitting and modifications; beneficiary training, follow up and travel costs (as is required).

The average prosthetic limb designed in the US or UK costs anything between US$5,000 to US$100,000.
 
Our campaign goal of $USD 15,000, paired with external funding and awards, will fully fund our 2019-2020 operating budget.

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Why us?

  -  Our lightweight 3D printed designs are cost effective, durable, comfortable, ready in just 2 weeks and fully customized.

  -  Prosthetic limbs through the Colombian national health service are difficult to obtain for many reasons, have limited functionality, are both heavy and ugly and are subject to a long waiting list.

  -   We are unique in Colombia in making assistive devices for children, adolescents and adults, and we don’t discriminate based on race, religion or politics. We provide additional support with travel and accommodation for those who can’t afford it.


We are innovative in our approach:

  -  e-NABLE Medellín has been highly successful with the "mechanical arm" design, which is suitable for below-the-elbow amputees. We recently launched our "robotic arm" design (El Medallo) suitable for a wider range of beneficiaries, i.e., those with above-the-elbow amputations or restricted elbow movement.

  - All our designs are open-source, which allows us to extend our impact beyond Colombia to wider international communities (e.g. academic, medical, NGOs).

  -  Our 2019-2020 project will scale our capacity to make lasting change and expand our reach to other remote areas in Colombia.

Give us a hand and we promise to give many more!

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If you would like to be contacted in the future to receive updates on our work , please leave your email in the comments section below or send us a message via facebook or instagram @enablemedellin or via our webpage www.e-nablemedellin.com or via email enablemedellin@gmail.com.

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Esteban Rojas 
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