Afghanistan: Red Cross Prosthetics Centre


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Afghan victims of war leaving the orthopedic centre, with Kabul's famous "TV-mountain" rising up behind them.


A prosthetic leg waiting for a correction after it has been fitted and tested by the patient.


War victim waiting to have his cast taken for a new prothesis.


Waiting room for the casting.


Disabled men waiting for their turn to have their cast taken.


A young boy is measured in the orthopedic centre to have a orthosis made custom for him.


A young boy is plastered to make a mold for a corrective backbrace (orthosis). The process is uncomfortable, as the brace has to be fitted in the right shape, which pushes his spine in a more natural curve.


After the cast has dried in the correct shape, it is cut open and removed.


This cast will be brought to the workers in the shop, so they can match the brace to the exact required shape.



Cleaning up after the cast is removed.


Plasterworkshop where feet, arms and legs are made into natural, fitting shapes before being coated with plastic.


The finalized plaster models are coated with heated plastic sheets. Nothing is wasted: the bits and pieces left over from making prosthetics are re-melted and used for crutches etc.


The workshop where prosthetics and orthoses are made.


Nearly all of the workers at the ICRC centre are handicapped themselves. Some by congenital disease, others by war and landmines.


The ICRC centre in Kabul also produces wheelchairs and crutches, some of which they distribute to other NGO's dealing with similar issues.


The workshop where they sew cushions for wheelchairs and textile parts for orthoses.


The rehabilitation area where patients with mobility impairments relearn to walk. If patients are unable to travel to a centre on their own, the ICRC provides food and lodging for the escort as well.


Many are accompanied by members of their family to the centre and to help them in the process of relearning how to walk.


A teenage girl in vocational training. The ICRC also provides micro-credit and homeschooling for specific age groups.