Specialist on mission to help the needy

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Limpho Sello

Maseru-based Chabeli Mohatlane says he will donate prosthetic devices to three needy people as a way of giving back to the community.

Mr Mohatlane is Lesotho’s only registered orthotist and prosthetist, a branch of medicine dealing with the manufacture and fitting of artificial human limbs. He owns and operates Orthopaedic Lesotho, a Maseru Industrial Area-based workshop which provides artificial limbs and various types of corrective and supportive devices.

Mr Mohatlane told the Lesotho Times last week that he was in the process of identifying two ladies in need of breast prostheses and one person who wants a prosthetic limp. He said breast prostheses were mostly used after a mastectomy. Mastectomy is the medical term for the surgical removal of one or both breasts and is usually carried out to treat breast cancer.

“Prosthetic breasts are for ladies who would have lost their natural ones due to breast cancer,” Mr Mohatlane said, adding that they were donated by well-wishers from France.

Studies show breast prostheses improve balance, posture and shoulder-drop which could result due to the imbalance of weight of having a single breast.

Mr Mohatlane also said once the recipients are identified, they are going to be measured to ensure the prosthetics fit their physical specifications. The devices would then be presented to the recipients during a Christmas lunch to be held at his workshop next month.

“After the beneficiaries’ measurements are recorded, the devices will then be prepared in time for the Christmas lunch set for 19 December,” said Mr Mohatlane.

Asked what motivated the goodwill gesture, Mr Mohatlane said the prosthetics were too expensive for most Basotho. Mr Mohatlane further said he drew inspiration from his father, Thabang Mohatlane, who was the country’s first qualified orthotist.

“I have worked and lived closely with disabled people over the years, and I know the struggles they face such as not getting the services they desperately need at hospitals because of exorbitant costs,” Mr Mohatlane said.

“God has blessed me by enabling me to assist those in need. No one applied to be handicapped, so I decided to do something to help this vulnerable section of our society as my way of thanking God for this gift.”

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