Materials For Facial Prostheses In Resource Limited Countries
Sophia Esther Liiba Tetteh
A Doctoral Thesis. Submitted in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the award of the degree of Doctor of Philosophy of Loughborough University
Facial prostheses are artificial devices that replace a missing body part in the facial and neck regions of the body. Defects or deformities in these regions can lead to functional deficiencies; social and psychological effects in addition to cosmetic defects. Restoration or rehabilitation in resource limited countries is usually provided by charities and organisations volunteering assistance overseas, with some training of local staff in the fabrication of these prostheses. Furthermore, these countries typically lack technical knowhow and trained personnel. In industrialised nations maxillofacial prosthetics has developed into a sophisticated medical speciality requiring highly skilled staff and expensive facilities. In resource limited countries surgical procedures may be an option for rehabilitation of these deformities/defects however, they tend to be unavailable or unaffordable and donated prostheses are not suitable. Hence, this research explores, from first principles, the appropriate and affordable local provision of maxillofacial prostheses in resource constrained regions. The investigation provides knowledge on identifying requirements for resource limited areas, resulting in the creation of a guideline constituting priorities, requirements and specifications. It further explores the viability of potentially cheaper, locally available candidate materials via weathering and antimicrobial methods in ascertaining material longevity.