The majority, about 80 percent, of the world’s estimated 33 million people with limb loss live in poor countries and are often without access to prosthetics care. Amputees are victims of war, violent conflict, natural disasters, unsafe working conditions, and lack of healthcare.
Haiti has a particularly large number of amputees as a result of the 2010 earthquake, which killed more than 200,000 people and caused injuries that required amputations for another 4,000 people. Health experts say the infrastructure to provide prosthetic care is almost completely nonexistent, and when it is available, prosthetics are almost exclusively unaffordable to those that need them most.
A non-profit organization, LimbForge, is training humanitarian NGOs and local clinicians to meet this need by creating affordable and culturally-appropriate prosthetics using a 3D printer, the Ultimaker. LimbForge says its 3D printing workshop in Haiti is one of the largest ever in a developing country.