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Inside the National Syrian Project for Prosthetic Limbs

By Monica Pinna  & Robert Hackwill
Inside the National Syrian Project for Prosthetic Limbs

Ahmet is 11. He suffered from a bilateral amputation last year because of an air strike in Syria, south of Damascus. He is training with his new temporary artificial legs, customized at the centre of the National Syrian Project for Prosthetic Limbs. We are in Reyhanli, a Turkish town in the South-eastern province of Hatay, meters away from the border with Syria.

Like him, thousands of refugees have been fitted prosthetic limbs here since the opening of the centre in 2013. 6,500 artificial limbs and leg or arm supports have been produced so far. The staff is mainly Syrian, as this project started on the initiative of doctors of the Syrian diaspora.

Since 2017 it has been supported and financed by the EU Humanitarian Aid Department in partnership with the NGO Relief International.

The centre has on average two new patients per week and one hundred are on the waiting list. They will have to wait around two months before starting the procedure to receive their new limbs.

Once the measurements are done, it takes one week to produce the prosthetic limb and test the temporary socket. Once the arrangements are made and the final limb produced, rehabilitation starts.

Refugees with below-knee amputations take usually up to two weeks of training. More complex cases might have to follow rehabilitation for months.

The organisation has a similar centre in Syria. Over there 600 people are on the waiting list. They won't be fitted any prosthetic limb for six months. Around 120 patients are assisted per month.

Nobody knows exactly how many Syrians have been injured so far in seven years of war. The only certainty is that the conflict has left its mark on an entire generation.

This 360-degree video was shot with a GoPro Fusion