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Affected patients being provided with artificial limbs

F.P. Report

PESHAWAR: Patients affected by landmines, terror incidents, firearm, accidents and other incidents in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and erstwhile-Fata have termed Pakistan prosthetic institute of orthotic sciences (PIPOS) as a ray of hope for them to enter into a new era of life after rehabilitation.

One of the affected patients, Haroon Khan 18, of Ghandao Tehsil of Mohmand tribal district  who gets treatment in PIPOS center in Peshawar said that i was en-route to a nearest bazaar with my father in Mohmand district back in 2008, 09, when blast took place, leaving my father dead and depriving me of my left leg”.

Few months after the incident, I visited Lady Reading Hospital (LRH) for treatment and getting first leg there and then visited PIPOS after one year as i have been coming to PIPOS center since last eight-years for treatment and changing leg once after two years. Though, in last few years, I have received 13  artificial legs free of cost, he added.

“I have left with no option but to drive rickshaw in Mohmand district to feed my family members and earn Rs 500 to Rs 600 daily” said young Khan who is survived by five sisters and two brothers.

Another 23-year old Ijaz Ahmed of provincial metropolitan of KP elaborated that I was injured in road accident on 16th April 2016. After accident, I came to Lady Reading Hospital (LRH) in Peshawar for treatment where owing to negligence of specialist doctor, I lost my leg when the alleged doctor did not operate me on time.

Being a student of Agriculture University, and enrolled in 8th semester in Plant Protection, he said it takes more time when a person comes to normal life with prosthetic limb but even though, patients get proper treatment at the center and return happily after being cured. He unveiled that disability takes a person towards inferiority complex and it enhances dependency.

“I lost my right leg in an explosion that took place on 17th December, 2012 at Fauzi Market, a center of historical Jamrud bazaar, leaving 17 people dead and 37 injured after I came out of my Government Higher Secondary School (GHSS) No 1 Jamrud” said Zahidullah of Khyber Agency, a bearded young man, wearing white cape who waits for his turn at PIPOS center.

Two of my classmates also lost their legs in that incident while another lost his life. I have changed four legs in last few years in PIPOS, he stated. I lost all my hopes after the blast but the treatment in this center brought me towards normalization and entered into a new era of life, he remarked. Felling confident, he claims I take part in sports related activities to let people know that I am a normal person.

The Pakistan Prosthetic Institute of Orthotic Sciences (PIPOS) is an autonomous body of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa health department which has been established in 1987 aimed at providing prosthetic and orthotic limbs to patients being suffered in war on terror, landmines, firearm injuries, roadside accidents, polio affected patients, injection neuritis, beside Golan Bari disease which affects human body, and others.

The statistics provided by PIPOS center, explained that a total of 220 to 240 patients are being treated on monthly basis and provided them with devices and limbs. It further informed that more than 25 per cent patients out of 100 per cent come from tribal agencies and a great number of people also come from Afghanistan.

As per available data, the PIPOS has various branches across the country including one each in Karachi, Quetta, Peshawar and Gilgit Baltistan while it also has 13 sub-branches in multiple districts of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa including Swat, Dera Ismail Khan, Bannu, Swabi, Mardan and others.

It further said that 60 per cent patients out of 100, include bomb blasts, mine victims and weapon wounded while 40 per cent among them are cases relating to polio, accidents, firearm injuries and others.

Managing Director (MD) of PIPOS Dr Umar Ayub Khan said that the mandate of this institute is to provide artificial limbs and related facilities in the field of prosthetics and orthotics to patients suffered on one way or other.

He claimed that PIPOS has been providing multiple services to patients free of cost and it also gives orthotic devices to polio affected patients across the country which gives support to weak muscles.

We are providing prosthetic devices means artificial limbs free of cost to patients with support of international donor, he informed and saying after examining patients, the preparation of limbs for those persons take from one week to a month time and thus the patients need to wait till its preparation. As the PIPOS also provide services in academia including B.SC (Hons) in prosthetics and orthotics from Khyber Medical University (KMU). Though, it also offers two-year diploma course in lower limb prosthetic and orthotics, he explained.

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