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Merel van der Stelt BSc

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Merel van der Stelt

Merel focuses on care through 3D technology in Sierra Leone

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Merel van der Stelt

In collaboration with the Technical Medicine course at the University of Twente and under the guidance of the 3D lab at the Radboud University Medical Centre, we are setting up a 3D lab in the Masanga Hospital in Sierra Leone. Many amputations occur in Sierra Leone due to complex wounds caused by traffic accidents, serious infections and the delayed patient presentation to the hospital. Besides, many amputees lost their limbs due to acts of violence during the Civil War (1991-2002).In Sierra Leone, the vast majority of people still do not have access to prostheses due to a lack of knowledge, availability of materials, trained staff and high costs. As a result, people often feel incomplete, which can lead to jealousy, insecurity, and depression. It is expected that having a prosthesis will let them blend in with the rest of the society and give them confidence.Access to 3D printing, even in its most basic form, can provide a useful and essential tool for manufacturing locally relevant medical aids, such as braces, splints and prostheses.The 3D lab is run by Dutch Technical Medicine students, who collaborate with local physio therapists and prosthetic specialists. Dutch specialists are involved for any advice if necessary. By exchanging knowledge in the field of culture, medical and technical knowledge, a partnership is created in which both the Dutch stagiaires and the local population learn from each other.
 

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Radboudumc Technology Center 3D lab

The focus in the 3D Lab is how we can use 3D technologies to improve care for each individual patient. These new technologies help improve the care and the treatment plan of patients, while taking their specific individual needs and wishes into consideration.

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