Afghanistan: Red Cross Prosthetics Centre

Kabul

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

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

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

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Waiting room for the casting.

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

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

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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.

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

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

 

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Cleaning up after the cast is removed.

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

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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.

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The workshop where prosthetics and orthoses are made.

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

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

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

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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.

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

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