Spotlight on Sierra Leone – Meet Alimatu

Dec. 31, 2023
Sierra Leone

Alimatu is 20 years old and lives in Freetown, Sierra Leone. Born with a below elbow limb difference, meaning her left arm did not develop fully at birth. Alimatu is currently at university studying finance. She was first introduced to Koalaa in 2021, through a local pastor. Koalaa spoke to Alimatu on our recent visit to Sierra Leone, to find out more about her experiences growing up with a limb difference and what she thinks of her Koalaa ALX.

Globally, there remains a significant need for affordable and comfortable prosthetics that can aid independence, inclusivity and health equity. This is particularly true in areas that have experienced conflict, and within lower/middle income countries. Working with governments, charities and other key partners on the ground to provide access to our prosthetics, in areas of the world that need them the most, is the focus of our dedicated Global Access Team. Koalaa have been lucky enough to secure a grant as part of the Assistive Technology Impact Fund (ATIF), under the banner of #AT2030, which aims to increase access to assistive technology of all kinds, all over the world.

The ATIF grant focuses on Africa and so in 2021 we began work on our first project in the region, in Sierra Leone. The country has a disproportionately high number of amputees, due to its recent history of civil war but also other factors, such as road traffic accidents. As well as a percentage of individuals born with a congenital limb difference. There is a significant need for prosthetics, coupled with a lack of access and a strong stigma around having limb differences. 

Below is a video of Alimatu sharing her story.