Man Provides Low-cost Prosthetic Arms for Sudanese Amputees

February 28, 2014

Unlocking Word Meanings

Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article. 

1. amputee /ˌæmpyʊˈti/ (n.) – a person who lost a limb or a part of the limb
Example: The amputee now wears an artificial leg.

2. daunting /dɔntɪŋ, dɑntɪŋ/ (adj.) – having a tendency to discourage or frighten others
Example: The country’s situation after the war is daunting.  

3. war-torn /wɔr tɔrn/ (adj.) – disrupted and destroyed by war
ExampleWar-torn countries need a lot of help to rebuild their nations.

4. limb /lɪm/ (n.) – an arm or a leg
Example: His lower artificial limbs enable Ron to walk again after losing his legs. 

5. feat /fit/ (n.) – a very remarkable act or achievement
Example: Helping thousands of suffering children in Africa can be considered a feat.


Read the text below.
A man has brought hope to thousands of amputees in Sudan by providing artificial arms.

This man is Mick Ebeling, the co-founder of Not Impossible Labs, a group that aims to create solutions for daunting health issues. Currently, Ebeling is helping out amputees in war-torn Sudan. Around 50,000 people lost their limbs in the Sudanese war, many of whom are children.

What inspired Ebeling to help the amputees in Sudan is a heartbreaking story featured in an article from the Time Magazine. The article is about an American doctor living in Sudan’s Nuba Mountains and his patient Daniel Omar. Omar lost his arms to an Antonov bomb while he was taking care of his family’s cows.

Ebeling started a group that could develop an inexpensive, 3-D printed arm in six hours. This effort is supported by Intel and Precipart, an engineering company. An arm would cost only $100 to make, an incredible feat considering that a standard prosthetic arm costs around $3,000 to $30,000.

The project, which Ebeling called “Project Daniel,” was able to equip Omar with an arm. Now, Omar is more independent and is able to feed himself for the first time in two years. Also, he is now working at a hospital to help other amputees.

To make sure that the project will continue even after he left Sudan, Ebeling trained local volunteers on how to do the 3-D printed arm. He left 3-D printers, laptops, and plastic materials to the volunteers. They are able to produce an arm a week while working only at night.

Viewpoint Discussion

Enjoy a discussion with your tutor.  

Discussion A

·         Do you think other people should follow what Ebeling did to help the Sudanese amputees? Why or why not?
·         How else can Sudanese amputees be helped? Explain.

Discussion B

·         How do you think war-torn countries can be helped by other countries? Explain.
·         How can wars be prevented?


February 28, 2014