The Zayed Higher Organization for People of Determination (ZHO) has signed a Joint Venture Contract (JVC) with German healthcare equipment manufacturer Bauerfeind ME’s affiliate Orthopedic Technic Berlin (OTB) at the UAE pavilion of the Expo 2020.
The JV, showcasing UAE-German cooperation in technology and public-private partnership, will enable Bauerfeind to employ and train people of determination to produce prosthetics and orthotics at the ZHO facility in Abu Dhabi. This joint initiative is a commitment of the two organizations with a common goal towards providing people of determination with tools to be self-reliant and improving their quality of life.
ZHO, with centers and clubs for people of determination across Abu Dhabi, provides a range of integrated services that aim at rehabilitating disabled people for inclusion into the community.
Bauerfeind is one of the largest manufacturers of orthopedic braces, stockings and inserts in the world.
His Excellency Abdullah Al Humaidan, Secretary-General of the ZHO, signed the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Mr. Karl Schmidt, General Manager of Bauerfeind ME and OTB, in the presence of a group of top leaders at the UAE pavilion in Expo 2020.
Bauerfeind will conduct the training workshops at Khawarizmi Training Solutions in Bahia, Abu Dhabi.
Commenting on the initiative, HE Abdullah Al Humaidan, said, “We are extremely glad to take up such a noble initiative joining hands with Bauerfeind ME. The initiative will see supporting the people of determination by training them in manufacturing prosthetics and orthotics using cutting-edge technologies to cater to the needs of the healthcare sector globally. This initiative will empower the lives of the people of determination, and those people who have been affected by accidents and other injuries.”
“The initiative will create a community of qualified and employable people of determination to take up opportunities in new fields that are available in the current employment market. The JV will also reduce the time to manufacture quality prosthetics and orthotics,” he added.
Mr. Karl Schmidt, added, “Our shared goals will assist ZHO in achieving its mission ‘…to provide advanced services for people of determination’. We will invest our resources and energy in a positive environment to enable them educationally, functionally, culturally, and socially in line with their abilities and aspirations towards the effectiveness of community roles and to achieve social development.”
“OTB and Bauerfeind supports the empowerment of people of determination. Their limitations are not physical if provided with the right education and opportunities. They are an integral part of the community. Our investment in the state-of-the-art robotic carving system, designed for the orthopedic market, used to produce custom-made prosthetic and orthotic models. The only one in Abu Dhabi is the ideal production training facility for PoDs. ZHO is the ideal partner to ensure inclusion and independence,” he added.
According to HE Al Humaidan, the ZHO is planning to make the training facility as a central hub in the Middle East to extend the benefit of the initiative to the people of determination from across the Middle East. The ZHO plans to use artificial intelligence (AI) in training and qualifying the people of determination.
“The agreement will see a team of experts operating the training program and ensuring the highest level of efficiency and the best outcome from the initiative. The program will start with training and employing eight people of determination who will be certificated by the end of the program,” he concluded.
Martin Fischbach, a certified prosthetic and orthotic at Zayed Higher Organization for 13 years, said, "I am very proud and pleased to witness this agreement. ZHO and OTB have brought to fruition this arrangement to benefit the people of determination not only with training but producing very high-quality prosthesis.”
OTB Bauerfeind will deploy specialist trainers in manufacturing prosthetics and orthotics; supply and install the required equipment for designing to meet the preparation requirements. The organization will also provide materials for manufacturing the products, in addition to installation and managing maintenance of the manufacturing equipment at the training center. OTB Bauerfeind will ensure the quality of standards, safety protocol for the participants in line with the environmental policies of the UAE.
Prosthetics are custom-fitting artificial limbs to enhance function and lifestyle of persons with limb loss. Orthotics are used inside shoes to alleviate foot pain caused by medical conditions such as diabetes, plantar fasciitis, bursitis, and arthritis.