Coimbatore

‘CMCH’s artificial limb centre a boon for western districts’

Two beneficiaries undergoing gait training at the Artificial Limb Centre at the Coimbatore Medical College Hospital on Wednesday.  

Amputation of left limb below the knee due to diabetic foot ulcer early in 2019 turned the life of Yasodha, a 40-year-old mill worker from Somanur, upside down.

Yasodha’s younger daughter had to stop going to school to take care of her bedridden mother. The elder daughter, who was about to get married, had to step in as the breadwinner of the family.

After about a year’s wait, she walked back to near normal life with the first lightweight prosthetic limb made at the Artificial Limb Centre at the Coimbatore Medical College Hospital in August 2020.

So far, 15 persons who underwent amputation of legs due to diabetes and accidents have received free artificial limbs from the centre.

CMCH Dean P. Kalidas said that the centre was a boon for people from the western districts who require artificial limb following amputation.

“The centre is very useful for people from the economically weaker sections who are unable to spend money for artificial limbs,” he said.

Earlier, people from the region who approached Government facilities for artificial limbs had to travel to Chennai.

Now, CMCH is the only Government medical college in the western region with an artificial limb making centre.

Last week, Minister for Municipal Administration and Rural Development S.P. Velumani took to Twitter to laud the centre's service.

S. Vetrivelchezian, Director, Institute of Orthopaedics and Traumatology at CMCH, said that the centre makes artificial limbs using lightweight materials.

“People who had received wooden artificial limbs in the past have complained of the material’s weight. Such limbs also cause excessive sweating and pain near the stump. The centre uses lightweight telescopic rod and polypropylene to make artificial limbs. This reduces the strain while walking. The centre also provides footwear and walking sticks along with prosthetic,” he said.

The centre has 10 beds to accommodate beneficiaries during the rehabilitation period.

According to Dr. Vetrivelchezian, the artificial limb programme has become self-reliant as it is covered under Ayushman Bharat Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana (AB-PMJAY) - Chief Minister's Comprehensive Health Insurance Scheme (CMCHIS), Tamil Nadu.

“The centre was started with the ₹50 lakh generated by the Department of Orthopaedics by doing fracture fixation and joint replacements that were covered under CMCHIS. Now, artificial limb made for each beneficiary is also covered under the insurance scheme and the programme itself generates enough funds for it,” said Dr. Vetrivelchezian.

As Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation is mandatory as per the revised medical curriculum, all medical colleges can start similar programmes covered by Government insurance scheme, making it a big rehabilitation model for lakhs of people who lose legs due to diabetes and accidents, he added.

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Printable version | Mar 9, 2021 1:37:13 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Coimbatore/cmchs-artificial-limb-centre-a-boon-for-western-districts/article33595814.ece

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