Latter-day Saint Life

BYU Students Create Prosthetic Socket to Aid Amputees in Africa


“The students found the most cost-effective, most durable, and best-fitting outcome,” said Lynette Gay, chairman of the board and president of Engage Now Africa in a news release. “There is no reason why this couldn’t be extremely successful.”

For eleven bloody years, rebels in Sierra Leone cut off the limbs of more than 27,000 people during a gruesome civil war that ravaged the African country.

Fifteen years later, Sierra Leone is still experiencing the consequences of that war, which has left thousands of victims permanently disabled. Many of the amputees struggle to survive, finding it difficult to complete even the most basic tasks and provide for their families.

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(Image screenshot from YouTube)

While most medical amputations are designed to aid in recovery, civil war rebels weren’t as deliberate in their methods and generally left their victims’ limbs in a state that now makes it difficult to fit prosthetics.

Thanks to a team of six BYU engineering students, however, that might change.

Led by BYU student Sean Larson, this group of students has partnered with the nonprofit Engage Now Africa to design sockets for above-knee amputees that work with prosthetics provided by the International Red Cross.

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Prosthetic socket aims to help 27,000 amputees in Sierra Leone - BYU Engineering Capstone

Lead image from YouTube

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