Iran mine victim starts business making wooden prosthetic limbs

December 27, 2020
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Contaminated with dangerous landmines left over from war with Iraq in the eighties, eastern Iran has an unfortunate number of customers needing prosthetic limbs.

Hussein Mohammedi, who lost his right leg 21 years ago in a mine explosion, has started his own business making prosthetic limbs from eucalyptus wood for residents of border villages near the town of Mariwan.

Not satisfied with the comfort of plastic prosthetics, he frequently heads to the surrounding mountains to find wood for the prosthetic limbs, which he says are preferable.

“I made this leg out of this … tree. It’s better [than plastic] as it never causes sweating and has no smell,” said Mohammedi.

Mohammedi’s leg was amputated after a mine was triggered near the Bashmakh border crossing in 1999.

A plastic prosthetic limb generally costs twenty million tomans ($750) in Iran. Mohammedi charges a significantly lower price.

“I want to serve mankind. […] I only charge a small amount of money. I make one prosthetic leg for one million tomans ($37). Whereas, only a toe for a plastic one costs two million tomans ($74),” said Mohammedi.

According to Landmine and Cluster Munition Monitor, nearly 3,000 people in Iran have lost their lives and 7,000 have been injured and amputated by landmines and explosive remnants of war in Iran between 1988 and 2017.

Mohammedi has around 30 customers in Mariwan and its surrounding villages.

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