Getting them on their feet | Daily News

Getting them on their feet

The Army’s rehabilitation centre Ranaviru Sevena gives war heroes new hope of being able to walk:
The process of making and fitting an artificial limb. The user also receives physiotherapy to be able to use the prosthetic.
The process of making and fitting an artificial limb. The user also receives physiotherapy to be able to use the prosthetic.

Sri Lanka’s decades-long community conflict ended over 10 years ago, but it left a large number of officers and soldiers of the Sri Lanka Army with different disabilities, both physical and psychological.

To ensure the wellbeing of these war heroes, the Ranaviru Sevana rehabilitation centre and wellness resort in Ragama established a department to produce prosthetics and orthotics for the benefit of some 9,259 injured war heroes; regular re-adjustment and repair of artificial limbs is also provided here.

The Department for Prosthetics and Orthotics at Ragama paved the way for the Directorate of Rehabilitation in the Army to further expand its operations by opening new units at Galle (Senasuma), Anuradhapura (Abimansala I), Pangolla (Abimansala III) and hold mini-workshops in Kandy, Minneriya and Ampara districts for the benefit of our war heroes who have disabilities.  

Ranaviru Sevana provides services such as designing, fitting, maintaining and repairing prosthetics (an artificial body part) and orthotics (a device for supporting or immobilizing or treating muscles, joints or skeletal parts which are weak, ineffective, deformed or injured), while also providing physiotherapy, speech and language therapy, hydrotherapy, counselling services and mobility and orientation training for visually-impaired soldiers.

The Department of Prosthetics and Orthotics Rehabilitation Centre at Ranaviru Sevana in Ragama was set up in 1992 to provide services for injured soldiers. At present, 9,259 differently-abled war heroes are treated through this establishment. The Department designs and fabricates orthopaedic and prosthetic devices, and also adjusts and repairs and replaces the devices under one roof without any payment.

The Army prosthetics and orthotics workshop (Sanasuma) was established in Galle in 2011. This had been operated as a private rehabilitation organization named ‘Southern Centre for the Disabled’. It was gifted by its former board of directors to the Defence Ministry when current President Gotabaya Rajapaksa was Defence Secretary.

The Prosthetics and Orthotics Department in Sanasuma in Galle provides services for those living in and around the Southern Province. This is the only Army institution that has offered its services for the treatment of civilians, especially those who suffer from scoliosis. The mobile workshops will be held all over the island to ensure provision of prosthetics and orthotics services at one’s doorstep.

Sanasuma is making every effort to create a sustainable rehabilitation centre of excellence catering to the needs of differently-abled people with mobility impairments. Each patient’s needs are addressed through a detailed clinical assessment and they are treated according to the clinical findings. Every possible step is being taken to provide prosthetic and orthotic services by well-qualified professionals.

The patients with hip disarticulations (10), above knee amputation (941), below-knee amputation (14,920), ankle disarticulation (552), trans humeral amputation (86), trans-radial amputation (172), surgical shoes (3,702), surgical devices (2,843), etc. are benefitting from these services thanks to the concept proposed by Army Commander Lieutenant General Shavendra Silva. These devices have been issued by Ranaviru Sevana. The total number of issued devices has been increased to 23,226. Also, a total of 27,703 repairs have been undertaken to date.

Every war hero who needs prosthetics or orthotics devices will get the opportunity to get a prosthetic designed with endolite and local components which costs more than Rs.400,000. Special RVS working limbs will be locally made for about Rs. 15,000 to Rs. 30,000. All other components are imported from Germany. Other than that, the employees at Ranaviru Sevana will provide services such as wheelchairs, roller workers, crutches, electric wheelchairs, commode wheelchairs and white canes for the visually impaired.

Solidiers who have motor disabilities can visit Ranaviru Sevana and avail of these benefits. All Army Prosthetics and Orthotics users who require further information can contact the Army Prosthetics and Orthotics Workshop (Sanasuma) at 103/1, Hirimbura Cross Road, Galle. Tele: 091-2233994/ 091-2233746;E-mail: p&[email protected] and [email protected].


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