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Fund to provide attack victim with new hands

Tuesday 6 June 2017

A FUND has been set up to pay for prosthetics students to travel to Uganda to create artificial hands for a woman horrifically injured in a brutal attack.

Ninsiima, a peasant farmer from the remote town of Fort Portal, was attacked with a machete by her husband last year, severing both her hands and one of her ears as she tried to protect her face.

The woman, who was heavily pregnant with her third child when the attack took place, has been forced to live away from her family ever since for fears of further assaults.

Ninsiima’s children, aged four and 10, as well as her new baby, have lived away from her since the attack as she has not been able to support herself and has been dependent on charity.

Now, Salford Knowledge 4 Change, set up by the University of Salford’s Professor Louise Ackers, is sending six prosthetics students to the country this summer to fit her with artificial hands.

Students from the University, one of just two in the UK which teaches prosthetics, will spend one month in the country, working with engineer Dr Robert Ssekitoleko and a team of Ugandan technicians and health workers.

They will be based in Kampala’s Mulago Hospital – the largest in east Africa – where they will fit the artificial hands onto Ninsiima as well as working with other patients.

A special crowdfunding page has now been created by the University, aimed at raising £6,000 to pay for the second year students to travel to the country.

This is the first project on the newly launched FundUS hub, providing funding for schemes which will enable students from across the University to reach their full potential while providing benefits to the wider community.

Professor Louise Ackers, chair in global social justice at the University, said: “We found out about Ninsiima’s tragic story as one of our volunteers was an obstetrician who assisted in her birth shortly after the attack. But although we were able to help her give birth safely, heartbreakingly she was then separated from her newborn baby and her two older children and was only able to carry on at all because of charity provided by one of the country’s judges, Her Excellency Margaret Mutonyi.

“Ninsiima’s story is one of the worst examples of domestic violence and many of us cannot imagine what she has been through. Sadly, prosthetics is something that is very underdeveloped in this part of Africa, but if our students are able to go there this summer and provide her with artificial hands, that will make a real difference and enable her to start to move on with her life.

“This fund will enable our students to gain real-world experience of medical practice, unlike anything they would receive in the UK, while also reaching out to communities in Uganda with little access to healthcare and making a real difference to people’s lives.”

Visit here to find out more about Ninsiima’s story and make a donation.