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SADAQAH, LILLAH, ZAKAAT

Account Name: Africa Muslims Agency
Bank Name: Standard Bank
Account Number: 061565253
Branch Code: 00 52 05
Swift Code: SBZAZAJJ

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Account Name: AMA Projects Account
Bank Name: Standard Bank
Account Number: 242017223
Branch Code: 005205
Swift Code: SBZAZAJJ
Ref: Cell No and Waterwell / Borehole / Masjid

 

Tel: +27 11 834 8685    |   24 Hours: +27 83 251 9376

BANKING DETAILS

SADAQAH, LILLAH, ZAKAAT

Account Name: Africa Muslims Agency
Bank Name: Standard Bank
Account Number: 061565253
Branch Code: 00 52 05
Swift Code: SBZAZAJJ

PROJECTS (eg Waterwell, Masjid, etc)

Account Name: AMA Projects Account
Bank Name: Standard Bank
Account Number: 242017223
Branch Code: 005205
Swift Code: SBZAZAJJ
Ref: Cell No and Waterwell / Borehole / Masjid

 

Lebanon: AMA provides robotic arms for refugees who have fled war and conflict

Africa Muslims Agency visited refugees in the Arsaal region of Lebanon this week, carrying out needs assessments and providing Gripp3d prosthetics for some of the country’s most vulnerable people. 

Gripp3d is a locally designed and professionally fitted hand device that is made using a 3D printer.. The device allows children and adults to be able to live a normal life, and regain their dignity and independence.

The device is particularly important for people who are born with Amniotic Band Syndrome (ABS) or who have lost a hand or arm due to an accident or in the impact of war.

Custom designed

This week, Dr Vincent Joseph, who is responsible for the project, met a group of refugees in Lebanon and custom fitted the devices for them, explaining the need for them.

“Gripp3d started because of a need, especially in the Middle East, especially for people who had lost their hands largely in conflict situations, people who had been exposed to cluster bombs or injured in conflict,” he explained.

“Gripp3d started as a mechanical device that worked off the power of your wrist and elbow to perform basic functions such as closing your fingers and thumb at the same time. This was developed in South Africa, and the company responsible used 3D printers to develop the latest technology,” he added.

The robotic hand will allow recipients to do daily tasks from holding a phone, to eating using utensils and writing with a pen.

Developing the robotic arms

Dr Joseph first got involved with the project when touring around a Palestinian refugee camp in Lebanon’s Tripoli, where he came across a young boy with no hand. The meeting inspired him to investigate further the development of a robotic hand.

After returning to South Africa, he started working on making a mechanical hand he could offer to anyone in need.

While mechanical arms are easy to access around the world, robotic arms have advanced technology and are more difficult to produce.

In 2017, Dr Joseph, encouraged by AMA’s CEO Imraan Choonara, placed heavy emphasis in developing robotic arms that would be well suited to those in need. During the 2020 pandemic, Dr Joseph transformed his bedroom into a workshop and would work endlessly in trying to perfect the robotic arm.

Today, Dr Joseph also trains engineers on how best to use the robotic arm as well as teaching them about its functions.

Recovering from conflict

The technology in the robotic arm ensures there is no poor blood circulation as a result of other alternatives which may be used, and is made specifically for the body shape of each individual. The strap-on arm design is more comfortable for recipients, whereas traditionally push-on prosthetics are used which can cause some pain or discomfort.

Dr Joseph says that now more than ever, Lebanon is in great need of such technology.

“Lebanon has seen a lot of conflict and hosts a lot of refugees who have been displaced from their homes from conflict. Many Palestinians displaced from their homes in 1948 ended up in camps in Lebanon which is rife with poverty and a lack of medical care. When Israel invaded southern Lebanon a lot of cluster bombs were also left behind,” he explained.

Afghanistan, Iraq, and Libya also have a similar need for such technology, where many civilians have been exposed to the impacts of cluster bombs, resulting in a loss of limbs.

In an absence of other alternatives, the Gripp3d technology is immensely important for injured civilians.

“You can’t really compare this technology to others, when there is no other alternatives,” says Dr Joseph.

A cost-effective solution

As well as providing recipients with the device and the necessary care they need, AMA also ensures that they receive full physiotherapy with qualified occupational therapists on a weekly basis.

The robotic hand has been provided to refugees at no cost, which is a great alternative to other mechanical arms on the market which can start from 10,000 USD and go up to 30,000 USD, per arm, and may require replacement after a few years.

The robotic arms are cost-effective, and will be available at the AMA sponsored Aman School of Excellence, in the Beqaa Valley of Lebanon. The school will have a workshop where the 3D arms will be given to those in need following a screening.

The school will also educate the students, many of whom are refugees and orphans, in robotics, coding and engineering.

The 3D arms are currently being manufactured in South Africa, and distributed at the workshop at the Aman School of Excellence in Lebanon.

According to Dr Joseph, the distribution of the robotic arms have been met with great excitement and gratitude from the recipients.

“AMA has shown people human kindness and dignity, so obviously the reaction is almost disbelief from them, that there are still people in the world who do this,” he said.

“If you do nothing else for these people, you give them hope and restore some of their dignity as human beings,” he added.

 


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