The Artificial Limbs Laboratory is one of the most important projects carried out by Qalqilya's Society for Rehabilitation in the city of Ramallah. Since the beginning of the project, in 2003, the services it provided were confined to free examination of the patients and giving advice to the disabled who are in need of artificial limbs, as there were no machines provided in the laboratory to manufacture artificial limbs.
The correspondent of humanityvoice.net who paid a visit to the laboratory wrote:
Nasim Ash-Shanti, the administrator of Qalqilya's Society for Rehabilitation says: "The Society has managed to buy from Germany the machines to manufacture artificial limbs. They are supposed to reach the laboratory during the next few weeks. We will also bring foreign experts to train about fifteen young Palestinian men in this craft so that the artificial limbs will be manufactured by Palestinian hands within a few months."
I asked Ash-Shanti about the amount of services the laboratory hopes to provide, and he answered: "We will be able to serve all Palestinians in the West Bank. I also expect that the costs of manufacturing may decrease from 1750 U.S. dollars to only 600 dollars per artificial limb. We will also do our best to pay for the raw materials required in this manufacturing process."
Ash-Shanti also pointed out that the Artificial Limbs Laboratory serves the congenitally handicapped as well as those who become disabled in accidents or because of some disease like diabetes, etc. The Laboratory services are not confined to granting patients whole artificial limbs like hands and legs but they also include providing special medical shoes for children with flat feet and other orthopedic devices as well as equipment to help those with poliomyelitis and paralysis.
Sources of Finance
Concerning the financing sources of the project, Ash-Shanti said: "In establishing the laboratory, the Society depended on the finances granted by the Joint Qatari Committee for Supporting the Palestinian People, whose headquarters are in Doha. As for the costs of the devices and machines required for manufacturing the limbs, which cost up to 95,000 dollars, they are all covered by the Association of Charitable Acts in the United Arab Emirates. Ash-Shanti also clarified that there is prospected support for the laboratory and the other activities of the Society from Al-Isra' Institution in Holland. These charitable efforts are exerted in coordination with the Union of Good Organization which encouraged the idea of establishing the Laboratory since its beginning."
Ash-Shanti also added that for the laboratory services to continue in the future, they will depend upon the ''Charities of the Benevolent Donators''; this will help in covering the expenses of the laboratory after its operation begins. Besides this, the Society's potentials will be employed as much as possible to help cover some expenses of the Laboratory."