Danish participation in prostheses workshop opening

Poul Weber (right) at the opening ceremony. In the middle is Privy Councillor Kasem Watthanachai in conversation with Anders Graugaard on his right.

Poul Weber participated on Sunday 31 March 2019 as an honorary guest at the opening ceremony in Saraburi province of a mobile clinic workshop providing artificial legs to 60 people in need of prostheses in the province.

The mobile clinic workshop is part of the nation wide work of the Prostheses Foundation of HRH The Princess Mother, which since 2013 has received over 2,5 million Thai Baht in donations from the Danish “Project Can Rings” of which Poul Weber is a Board Member.

Project Can Rings is built on the idea that if enough people collect enough of the opening rings on beer cans and soft drink cans, then the value of this scrap metal can become a considerable support to provide handicapped people in Thailand with artificial legs. Initially the metal itself was used in the production of various parts of the prostheses, but since the trouble of bringing several tons of this metal scrap through Thai customs became to much, the donation changed from can rings to money.

Poul Weber had also invited Anders Graugaard, Deputy Head of Mission at the Danish Embassy in Bangkok to participate in the opening, which was presided over by Privy Councillor Kasem Watthanachai.

Assoc.Prof. Dr. Vajara Rujiwetpongstorn, Anders Graugaard and Poul Weber in a discussion with Privy Councillor Kasem Watthanachai.

Privy Councillor Kasem Watthanachai and other health ministry officials spoke during a meeting prior to the opening with Poul Weber and Anders Graugaard about possible Danish involvement in establishing a mid-level physiotherapy education in Thailand that could train caregivers at village levels in basic physiotherapy for elderly and handicapped people.

Assoc.Prof. Dr. Vajara Rujiwetpongstorn, Secretary-General of The Prostheses Foundation of H.R.H. The Princess Mother, which is currently under the patronage of HRH Princess Sirindhorn Mahachakri, spoke at the opening which was also marking the opening of a local physiotherapy building at the provincial administration in Saraburi.

The Prostheses Foundation is providing 3500 prostheses annually for free to Thai people in need of this, either because they are born without legs, have lost one or both legs in a traffic accident, have lost a leg because of neglected diabetes or other reasons, like being a victim of land mines or bitten by snakes.

Different kinds of prostheses were on display. Behind them is Assoc.Prof. Dr. Vajara Rujiwetpongstorn, Secretary-General of The Prostheses Foundation of H.R.H. The Princess Mother. Behind him is seen the mobile clinic, which the Danish “Project Can Rings” (Projekt Dåseringe) has helped finance.

While the Privy Councillor was shown a local exhibition, Dr. Vajara and the staff of the mobile clinic started fitting the 60 people with a new artificial leg. The production of the prostheses starts with the person sticking the stump into a special conical sandbag, which is then vacuum sucked, leaving a hole in the middle where the stump was. Inside this hole another bag is placed and filled with sand. Sucking the air out of this sand bag provides a strong, direct copy of the stump of the leg. This is then used to shape the inside of the new artificial limb.

“Since the leg might be swollen by the end of a working day, it is important that the prostheses is not too tight, but it can also not be too loose for comfort,” Dr. Vajara explained, adding that still, about up to ten percent of the people who get a prostheses give up wearing it and go back to a life with a crutch or in a wheel chair.

Click here for more information about Project Can Rings (daaseringe.dk)

Assoc.Prof.Dr.Vajara Rujiwetpongstorn, Secretary-General of The Prostheses Foundation of H.R.H. The Princess Mother, observing critically the fitting of a prostheses of a young boy among the 60 people who over the next few days will be fitted with an artificial leg.

Privy Councillor Kasem Watthanachai was greeted by Poul Weber at his arrival to the opening.

 

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