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Dubai resident gets region’s first 3D-printed prosthetic leg

A Dubai resident has received the region’s first ever fully 3D printed prosthetic leg, under the patronage of Dubai Health Authority (DHA) in partnership with Arab Health.

Belinda Gatland

The prosthetic leg was donated to Belinda Gatland, a British expat who has been an amputee for more than 10 years, after her life changed dramatically after a horse riding accident at the age of 22. With subsequent necrosis (premature death of tissue or bone cells) leaving her in immense pain, she ultimately had to have her left leg amputated. Belinda has been an equine physiotherapy specialist for over 23 years now and horse rides every morning.

“The DHA has prioritised fostering the development of future technologies such as 3D printing in healthcare,” said His Excellency Humaid Al Qatami, Chairman of the Board and Director-General of the DHA. “We are keen to bring in the latest technology in medicine to further bolster patient-centric care and improve the lives of our patients to the best extent possible. We consider the private sector to be our partner in our endeavours to further strengthen and develop the health sector of Dubai and such collaborative efforts go a long way in bringing modern excellence to the health sector in the Emirate.”

The DHA and Arab Health facilitated the creation and donation of the prosthetic device in conjunction with Prosfit (Bulgaria), Mecuris (Germany), and Mediclinic (UAE). With more than 20 years of experience in the field, Sebastian Giede, certified orthopaedic prosthetist with Mediclinic, worked with the fully 3D printed device for the first time, stating “the potential of 3D printing in the field of prosthetic devices is huge. It allows for faster turnaround times, more personalisation in terms of both design and functionality, as well as great flexibility when it comes to replacement.”

Dr Mohammad Al Redha, director of the Executive Office for Organisational Transformation at DHA, said: “Projects like this help us pave the way towards a more integrated and sustainable healthcare system. This is a truly unique collaboration that allows us to see the most modern technology emerge and become a reality.”

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