1400 in need

Kirkuk’s only prosthetics factory halts production

KIRKUK — In Kirkuk, more than 1,400 people with disabilities are in dire need of prosthetic limbs, all looking towards the only government-operated prosthetics factory in the area. This facility, under the Ministry of Health’s jurisdiction, is critically understaffed with merely four employees and is currently non-operational due to a severe shortage of essential raw materials needed to manufacture both upper and lower limb prosthetics.

Haider Abdulhussein Smeen, the director of Kirkuk’s prosthetics factory, told 964media that the facility is specifically intended to assist those who have lost limbs, offering prostheses at no cost.

However, the absence of raw materials has led to an indefinite halt in operations. Market prices for these prosthetics can soar to as much as $4,000 each, placing them out of reach for many.

A 964media reporter noted that it has been five years since the factory last received a shipment of raw materials from the Ministry of Health, effectively stymieing its ability to continue serving those in need.

According to the head of 1400 Rehabilitation Center for the Disabled in the region, the current count of individuals with disabilities in need of prosthetic limbs exceeds 1,400.