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Life ‘Moves’ On Makes Bhuj Earthquake Victims Walk Again!

 26 July 2014
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The natural disaster struck in 2001, but the memories are still vivid in the minds of those who witnessed the painful tragedy, and they continue to haunt until now. The Bhuj earthquake claimed many lives, but for those who were left disabled by the calamity, life came crashing down with even normal activities of living becoming no less than an everyday challenge.

Losing mobility has a disastrous impact on people, but they resign to the fact that standing on their feet will never be possible again. That hurt of being immobile is still writ large on the faces of the paraplegic whose lower half body became paralyzed during Bhuj’s tragic incident on January 26, 2001, leaving them wheel chair-bound.

To contain the mental trauma and instill confidence of regaining a normal life, US-headquartered Comprehensive Prosthetics & Orthotics(CPO) held a three-day camp, in association with a city-based NGO, Shree Bidada Sarvodaya Trust, during which the disabled were fitted with Reciprocating Gait Orthoses (RGO) device.

An RGO is a highly specialised device which works on the principle of Reciprocating Gait, that is, if a patient flexes his right hip then the device helps in extension of left hip which gives the patient stability to stand without support and allows him to walk.
 
During the camp, CPO customised the device for individual patients and followed the complete procedure from taking measurement, to fitting and providing Gait Training, which is termed as RGO Fitting. In prosthetics, the company has set exemplary benchmarks by fitting products on any amputated, uneven or lost limb with the help of customized company-made sockets, which requires immense precision, minuteness and accuracy.
 
For RGO fittings, Correct Pelvic Girdle Fabrication is very crucial as hip Joints and rocker bars are mounted on it. Hence, it is very crucial to cast the pelvic girdle in square position to attach all components in correct alignment to get optimum result. Otherwise, it is highly difficult to achieve the desired result. Our clinicians excel in fitting which is of prime importance,” said Mr Amit Bhanti, Clinical Director &Chief Executive Officer of CPO, who is also a trained Prosthetist & Orthotist.
 
Usually, it takes 18-20 days for a paraplegic to start walking with the help of an RGO. However, CPO made sorts of records at the Bhuj camp by making them walk with the RGO support in just three days.The company has been conducting regular follow-ups with all the patients, providing them further insight into using RGO in Indian Conditions.
 
It was a great achievement for us to make paraplegic walk in three days. It gives immense satisfaction to let those stand on their feet again who had lost hope. What happened in Bhuj was terrible and people became victims of a natural calamity. We wanted to let them move again and the way we have achieved that in such short span of time encourages us to achieve more such milestones,” he added.
 
The aim of CPO in holding the camp was to promote in the country RGO, which improves life of patients and prevents from other complications like bladder/bowel complications, vascular complications, osteoporosis hypertension, among others.
 
The company is open to collaborating with institutes and hospitals in India to transfer the technology and transform people’s lives, Mr Bhanti said.
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