Original Research

The status and use of prosthetic devices by persons with lower limb amputation in Rwanda

Robert Ngarambe, Jean Baptiste Sagahutu, Assuman Nuhu, David K. Tumusiime
African Journal of Disability | Vol 11 | a1081 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/ajod.v11i0.1081 | © 2022 Robert Ngarambe, Jean Baptiste Sagahutu, Assuman Nuhu, David K. Tumusiime | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 21 May 2022 | Published: 09 December 2022

About the author(s)

Robert Ngarambe, Department of Physiotherapy, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Rwanda, Kigali, Rwanda
Jean Baptiste Sagahutu, Department of Physiotherapy, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Rwanda, Kigali, Rwanda
Assuman Nuhu, Department of Physiotherapy, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Rwanda, Kigali, Rwanda
David K. Tumusiime, Department of Physiotherapy, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Rwanda, Kigali, Rwanda; and Department of Rehabilitation, The Regional Centre of Excellence in Biomedical Engineering and eHealth, University of Rwanda, Kigali, Rwanda

Abstract

Background: Amputation is one of the leading causes of disabilities because of reduced mobility. Without assistive devices specifically prostheses, the quality of life of persons with lower limb amputation (PLLA) further deteriorates. Therefore, prostheses are fundamental to improving their quality of life.

Objectives: This study aimed to establish the number of PLLA with or without prosthesis and to determine their socio-economic profile in Rwanda.

Method: A descriptive, cross-sectional study was conducted in all sectors of Rwanda. As a result of coronavirus disease 2019 movement restrictions, data collection was carried out through telephone calls with participants to complete the questionnaires. Descriptive, inferential statistics and chi-square test were performed to analyse data using Statistical Package for Social Science (SPSS) 21.0.

Results: Of the 3026 participants identified countrywide, 68.8% were males and 60.3% of them did not have any prosthesis (p = 0.003). The majority (62.4%) of those who had prosthetic devices needed repair of their prostheses while 14.8% of participants reported that their prosthetic devices were completely broken and/or damaged (p = 0.604). Among the participants, 63.7% had no source of income and 66.7% had dependents (p ≤ 0.001).

Conclusion: The majority of the PLLA in Rwanda did not have prosthetic devices and even those with prostheses did not fully function and thus required repair. Therefore, it adversely affects their livelihood.

Contribution: The government should collaborate with stakeholders working with persons with disabilities and implement mechanisms and/or strategies to make prosthetic devices accessible and affordable.



Keywords

admitted; experiences; family members; relative; state patient; qualitative.

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