Prosthetist Speaks to United Nations, Highlighting Value and Potential of 3-D Printing Technology in
In 2016 Jeff Erenstone, CPO, Founder of the Operation Namaste addressed the United Nations, during a panel headed by the UN ambassador of Iraq and sponsored by UN Mine Action Service (UNMAS) about the value and potential of 3D printed prosthetics in Third World Environments and conflict zones.
He discussed the evolution of 3D printed prosthetics from “over hyped” plastic toys to devices that, when properly constructed in accordance with all FDA regulatory controls may be considered medical grade. He shared his experience with recent efforts in Haiti and how his team focused on educating the local prosthetists on this technology and giving them the control over deciding if a 3D printed device is appropriate or to stick with a more conventional device.
Part of his address included one of the great benefits of 3D printed devices – that the components can be fabricated on-site. This is especially valuable in conflict zones where shipping supplies is especially difficult. He plans continue to talk with UNMAS about their efforts to deploy relatively low cost 3D printed devices in Iraq and Syria.
Other panelists included the Ambassador of Iraq, who spoke about the great need for long term care of IED victims in north Iraq. The UNMAS representative supported the information provided by the Ambassador and explained the actions that UNMAS are taking to deal with this area and other areas around the map. Ned Norton of the Hercules Project also addressed the UN, as he has been working to supply people in conflict zones physical therapy free to people with disabilities.