4 September 2018 | A group of Orthotic and Prosthetic (OP) and Occupational Therapy (OT) students from Loma Linda University will be serving patients in war-torn areas of Ethiopia this month. They will be led by Michael Moor, director of the LLU Prosthetics/Orthotics service learning program.
No evangelistic component is planned for the September 6-23 trip other than the practical service opportunity to be of tangible help to others.
A state-of-war between Ethiopia and Eritrea that started in 1998 and only ended this year, killed about 70,000 people and left many without legs, arms and hands.
The students will help train local OP and OT practitioners. They will fit prosthetics on patients and train the patients in their use. They will also be providing support to children with developmental challenges that do not have access to adequate therapy options.
Loma Linda students will design and build prostheses from local materials in a way that can be replicated after their departure.
To combat stigma attached to hook prostheses, the students have modified designs for 3-D printed hands to be more practical and life-like.
Although students have already raised significant funds toward the trip, a PureCharity funding campaign for $50,000 dollars has been set up to fund logistics including expenses for hotel, food, driver and van, in-country flights for the whole group, and the local guide creating the work opportunities with local Ethiopian partners.