A PROTOTYPE DESIGN: ECENG GONDOK (WATER HYACINTH) MAKES DISABLED PEOPLE SMILE
Background: The World Health Organization (WHO) in 2011 estimated that about 15 % of the world population (7 Billion people) living with physical limitations that 2 - 4 % of them have difficulties in performing daily activities. According to the census data from the National Bureau of Statistics in 2013, number of disabled people in Indonesia amounted to 0.7 % of the total population of 211.428.572 or as many as 1.48 million. The material used in prosthetic device such as carbon fiber and another synthetic fiber are still imported, also with the expensive price (Rp.800.000/m2). As a tropical country, Indonesia has natural resources which are quite diverse and one of this natural fiber is water hyacinth (eceng gondok) which is not endanger for health and can be decomposed by nature (biodegradable). It proves that fiber which is laminated with acrylic resin produced a strong material by doing tensile test and flexibility tests.
Objectives: To assemble into one completed prosthesis (assisted device) for lower limb amputees.
Methods: The experimental type of research, by making a prototype of socket prosthesis made from water hyacinth fiber.
Result: The water hyacinth fiber can be assembled with other components to fabricate prostheses for lower limb amputees. Moreover, this prosthesis also provides a strong device without harming the safety.
Conclusion: Composites of water hyacinth fiber have the potential to be further developed as an alternative material for prosthesis socket in Indonesia because this material is available locally. Therefore, it is more economics (low cost). Furthermore, this material can tackle the environmental problems due to its biodegradability.