More than 30 million people in low-income countries need an artificial limb or brace, but according to the World Health Organization, only 5% to 15% of them can access this service.

The development of new technologies, such as 3D printing and telemedicine, has opened the door to innovative approaches to health service delivery, especially for reaching patients living in remote areas or in conflict zones.

By introducing 3D printing technology to the field of physical rehabilitation in West Africa, this operational research seeks to address the challenge of increasing the productivity of current prosthetists to reach more children and adults with disabilities by inventing an intervention method to address the isolation of many patients living in dangerous, conflict-ridden, or hard-to-reach areas.



This project aims to strengthen the capacities of the African Organization for the Development of Centers for Persons with Disabilities (OADCPH), a network based in Lomé (Togo) that brings together 68 rehabilitation centers in 22 African countries. A 3D manufacturing laboratory (Fab Lab) will be set up at the OADCPH to produce and supply “3D orthotics” to 4 rehabilitation centers in Togo, Mali and Niger. Four professionals (two orthoprosthetists, two physical therapists) per center will be trained in 3D printing technology and will practice tele-rehabilitation, i.e., fitting patients with the help of an orthoprosthetist via videoconference.

Our Belgian partner, Thomas University College, will have an indispensable role in the project by supervising the research process and guaranteeing the scientific validity of the research project.

Duration: 18 months

Nov 2017- April 2019

Area of intervention:

TOGO (Lomé ; Dapaong)

NIGER (Niamey)

MALI (Bamako)


  1. African Organization for the Development of Centers for the Disabled (OADCPH) – Togo
  2. National School for Medical Assistants (ENAM) – Faculty of Medicine – Togo
  3. Thomas More University College – Belgium