Two Colombian students have been getting valuable training in the design and fitting of artificial limbs in the U.S., with the ultimate goal of transporting their skills back to Colombia to help the vast number of landmine victims, CTPost reported Wednesday.
The two students are currently in Stratford, Connecticut, on scholarships provided by a partnership between the Sikorsky Aircraft Corporation and the Hanger Orthopedic Group. The partnership is intended to help improve prosthetic medical care in Colombia.
Miguel Angel Gutierrez, 34, and Sebastian Ramirez, 24, are the first two beneficiaries of the scholarship program and both hail from Bogota, where they will return in May to work at the Central Military Prosthetics Laboratory there.
“Today [Wednesday] they will be putting their training to practice, so that when they go back they will be prepared to take care of these victims,” said Nathan Seversky, a certified prosthetist at the hospital where they gained their practical experience using local amputees.
Colombia is Sikorsky Aircraft Corporation’s third largest customer, which is why Jim Socora, a director at the company, explains that “since we work in Colombia, we wanted to reach out to them and this was a good opportunity to do so.”
The landmine problem in Colombia has resulted in the deaths of over 9,000 victims, among the highest in the world, while the commander of the armed forces, Admiral Edgar Cely, recently announced that the FARC were increasing their use of landmines as their power rescinds.
The latest victims to be reported were two children and two soldiers, who died in separate landmine incidents on Monday April 18.