|ICRC Activities in Angola: 1993 - 28 January 2000 (International Committee of the Red Cross , 80 p.)|
19 August 1998
ICRC News 98/33
Riki could not believe his eyes. Though he is one of the most experienced pilots flying for the ICRC, with about 30,000 hours under his belt, he had never seen anything like this. Just three weeks earlier he had flown 10 anxious amputees from Malange to Huambo. They could barely walk, let alone board the aircraft on their own. And now those same people were going home, happy and grateful for their recovered freedom of movement and dignity. With pride, they marched past the flabbergasted pilot up the steps to the plane, brandishing crutches which had, for them, become useless and even cumbersome. This is one flight I will never forget, Riki told us.
In Angola the ICRC flies amputees to the Huambo and Kuito limb-fitting centres, which are run jointly by the ICRC and the Angolan Ministry of Health. This service began in September 1997 with patients from Lunda Norte province, and was stepped up in March 1998. Over 100 amputees from remote provinces such as Cabinda and Malange have already received artificial limbs at the ICRC centres.