Tau AJ Tebakaro
Tungaru Rehabilitation Service team members in the prosthetics & orthotics workshop; Taukoriri Tibiriano (physiotherapist) and Tebakaro Aata (prosthetist) with Andrew Jolly (ISPO Australia Technical Assistant.)

Andrew Jolly, representing ISPO ANMS, commenced his in-country technical assistance in mid-August, meeting the shipped equipment only a short week after it had arrived at the TRS. Working with both the TRS and biomedical teams, the container was promptly unpacked and stock counted. Equipment was orientated within the machine room, according location of electrical outlet locations and proximity to the dust collectors. Working with the contractors, the ministry of works and the biomedical team, the electrical plan was modified to accommodate for the requirements of the prosthetics & orthotics machinery, with careful attention to safety.

Locations of equipment in the machine room were consolidated with installation of the ducting of the two dust extractors. ISPO ANMS had consulted with Otto Bock to arrange for pre-assembly of the ducting in order to ensure necessary connections.

A total of 5 separate rooms were allocated to the prosthetics workshop component of the rehabilitation facility, including;

  • Plaster rectification room
  • Oven room
  • Machine room
  • General workshop area
  • Storeroom

Andrew worked with the team to design furniture required to complete the fit-out of the area, including a sand-trough for filling casts, custom benches for device assembly, tool boards, racks for sewing goods, shelves for the storeroom and a bench with an inlay to suit fume extraction. The design of the furniture had to meet the needs of the local team, taking into account appropriate working heights and depths of benches, and sufficient flow space between work zones.

The TRS team negotiated with a local joinery to arrange for the fabrication and delivery of custom furniture in time for the opening ceremony (only a week and a half from placing the order).

The existing materials and equipment from the temporary workshop were counted and organised. Excess stock (including leftover building materials) was stored offsite in order to make way for the new machinery and workshop layout.

The general workshop was divided into work zones, including prosthetics & orthotics assembly, sewing, fastening, cutting, wheelchair assembly and glueing areas. The zones were allocated with attention payed to the flow of work activities, allowing for multiple personnel to safely working simultaneously.

Custom-made furniture arrived in three deliveries – the furniture installed as it arrived. The fume extraction bench was completed with a custom-made top made of left-over Perspex from the build; the plastic was perforated and mounted atop an industrial extraction fan included in the procurement. The technical assistant worked with the project architect to determine the appropriate location for the exhaust outlet for the fumes.

The TRS salvaged other furniture wherever possible; a set of shelves was painted and mounted in the cast rectification room and a stainless steel medical cabinet was refurbished and modified for use as a chemical storage.

The final days of the placement included displaying of tools on the tool boards, stacking and organising stock in the storeroom and training of local staff in the safe use of the machinery.

The machinery was purchased from both Otto Bock and CR Equipments – the service now has the capacity to fabricate both endoskeletal and ICRC (low-cost) prosthetic technology.

As well as working hard on the technical aspects of the workshop set up, the TRS team also made arrangements for an opening ceremony; the local staff often worked late into each evening to ensure the set up of the TRS facility was complete in time for the event.