Almost 16,000 people in Cuba are living with amputations, for example as a result of accidents or diabetes; however, only 3,000 of these are currently fitted with prostheses and orthoses. The state-administered Centro Nacional de Ortopedia Técnica (CNOT) is responsible for technical orthopaedics and maintains around 40 care facilities throughout the country and employs approximately 450 orthopaedic technicians. These are usually inadequately trained and mostly work in outdated workshops. New recruits are rare in the country and have so far mostly been trained locally with existing materials and methods. In order to improve the standards of care, the project partners hope to qualify specialists and provide modern medical technology. Ottobock can thus offer professional, holistic care in Cuba and generate more demand for its own products. Since the approach goes beyond the mere distribution of components, Ottobock is able to strengthen its own market position in the long term.
In order to train orthopaedic technicians according to the latest standards and to equip CNOT workshops accordingly, the project partners implemented the following measures, among others, as part of the develoPPP project from 2016 to 2018; the total budget was approximately 410,000 euros:
- 18-month advanced training in leg prosthetics according to international standards (ISPO II) for four CNOT specialists at the Ottobock International O&P School in Duderstadt.
- Training in leg prosthetics and orthotics for 92 CNOT employees and lecturers at the Faculty of Health Technology (FATESA) of the Universidad Ciencias Médicas in Havana
- Establishment of the new techniques as part of the training in the main workshop of the CNOT
- Creation of a strategic modernisation plan for the nationwide orthopaedic technology workshops
Ottobock contributed its expertise in medical technology as part of the project, thus promoting the local transfer of know-how. GIZ supported the project financially.
Cuba is a country with long-term potential for us. We are able to open up a new market in Latin America through cooperation with GIZ. At the same time, together we are improving the quality of life of people with disabilities.
Training and know-how transfer in the field of medical technology have significantly improved health care. For example, the CNOT has further developed technical orthopaedics based on the knowledge gained from the project. More prostheses and orthoses could be produced and delivered to patients. Because it was possible to train more specialists in the orthopaedic field, Ottobock is now able to use its medical technology products more in the country.
- 92 orthopaedic technicians received further qualification
- Long-term know-how transfer via the CNOT and the Universidad Ciencias Médicas
- 30 percent increase in production in the field of orthotics and prosthetics at CNOT
develoPPP Classic is aimed at medium-sized and large companies that want to invest sustainably in a developing or emerging country and expand their operational activities locally. Suitable projects receive technical and financial support of up to two million euros in public funding.