UTM produces 3D manual prosthetic hand for children with disabilities in Yemen
JOHOR BAHRU,. Universiti Teknologi Malaysia (UTM) has produced a three-dimensional (3D) manual prosthetic hand in efforts to assist children with disabilities in Yemen, whether they have a disability from birth or due to an accident or war.
The prosthetic hand has been produced by a group of researchers from the university’s School of Biomedical Engineering and Health Sciences, Faculty of Engineering in collaboration with a 3D printing company, MyVista.
UTM head of project and senior lecturer, Ts Dr Mohd Najeb Jamaludin said the prosthetic hand would benefit children, aged six to 10, and its design was especially for individuals who still had the use of their wrists.
He said the prosthetic hand serves as therapy to train a user on how to use hand aids in the initial stages and would help the user regain confidence.
“The manual prosthetic hand, as therapy, would assist individuals to familiarise themselves to use hand aids and would be especially helpful for those who have recently been involved in accidents and such,” he said, yesterday (Wednesday).
He said 30 units of the prosthetic hand will be sent to the Tahadi Institution for the Care and Rehabilitation of the Disabled (TCRD), a non-governmental organisation (NGO), in November.
According to him, children involved in this project will be provided with a manual in Arabic on the use of the prosthetic hand, and they will be assessed and monitored by the NGO.
“The special thing about this project is that we provide a touch of humanity by introducing the rehabilitation and training process in stages and periodically.
“Once they get through the training, TCRD will assess them and only after this will we send more advanced versions of the prosthetic hand, for example, like motorised or battery-operated ones.”
Mohd Najeb also said that the production of the prosthetic hand is seen as appropriate as most of the Yemeni students at UTM were studying biomedical engineering and therefore, this innovation expertise could be applied by them upon returning to their war-torn country.
“What we hope is that after they finish their studies here, they can share their knowledge and technological expertise back home to help their community.”
Mohd Najeb added that UTM has been collaborating with MyVista since 2015 in terms of expertise to improve various 3D prosthetic hand designs as well as to channel electronics donated by the company to persons with disabilities of various age groups in the country.