Wheelchairs Change Lives
Namwianga Mission Hospital distributes free wheelchairs to those who need them. Right now the hospital has a list of over 100 mobility-impaired individuals who are waiting to receive a wheelchair. Waiting to move around without being carried. Waiting to have their lives changed.
John Chimbuvu knows how a wheelchair can change a life. John was born with disabilities. His parents passed away, and his sisters married and settled elsewhere. John was alone with no relatives nearby to help care for him. He had carved two short wooden crutches and added rubber soles so that he could get around, but his activities were very limited. John’s life changed when he received his wheelchair from Namwianga. Now he is able to move himself around his hut and his yard, and he has enough mobility to plant and harvest a maize crop.
The wheelchairs distributed by Namwianga in the past were imported from China. Although the chairs were donated, it was costly to ship them to Zambia. When the supply of the imported wheelchairs was used up, the hospital had to search for an alternative. Recently Martin Mwimbili, an alumnus of Namwianga Christian School, designed a wheelchair that can be made from parts that are locally available. The chair is sturdier than the imported ones and made specifically for rural conditions. The chairs can be made to fit children or adults. These wheelchairs made in Zambia by Zambians and for Zambians cost just $100 each.