A postgraduate student at the department of mechanical engineering at the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and technology, Adofo Yaw Kwakye has developed a prosthetic foot to aid the movement of amputees across the world. The product was made from local materials in Ghana. Adofo is the first Ghanaian to develop a prosthetic foot from sawdust and some other indigenous materials.
Making a presentation at the 2nd International Conference on Engineering, Science, Technology and Entrepreneurship held on 16th to 18th August, 2017 at KNUST, IDL Conference Centre at the sindicate room, he noted that, in developing countries such as Ghana, people who are limb deficient are mostly low class income earners according to research. He added that research has also proven that it is very expensive, hence the usual low income earners cannot afford and therefore it has become necessary for engineers to come to their aid.
“There is the need for engineers to produce prosthesis of adequate quality but less cost from local materials so that we can help amputees gain their psychological sense of wholeness. This will also aid their day to day activities for them to fend for themselves and help reduce the over dependency on government and random people for support. A prosthetic foot was made from local materials specifically wood fibre also known as sawdaust and silicone sealant. The foot has been tested on an appropriate below knee amputee and the feedback was very positive,” he stated.
Adofo Yaw Kwakye in collaboration with F.W Adam (mechanical engineering department, KNUST) and Dr. Kwadwo Mensah Darkwa (Materials engineering) undertook this research.
Answering questions at the serminar after his presentation, Adofo indicated that a major challenge he has been facing is inadequate funding to enable them produce more products. He therefore called on the ministry of health, other government agencies and the general public to support them expand the project.
He believes the research will put Ghana on the global stage if it is sponsored.The research is titled “Development and analysis of a prosthetic foot made from local materials”.
Source: Edward Oppong Marfo