Mr Tô was fitted with a prosthesis for the first time in 1971 at the National Rehabilitation Institute – now the Ho Chi Minh City Rehabilitation Centre. Although the prosthesis had deteriorated over time, he continued to use it until 2005, when he was able to replace it with a device that a friend wanted to get rid of.
Mr Tô’s efforts to be refitted at the Rehabilitation Centre had always failed. His requests for a free fitting were repeatedly rejected by the local authorities. He was not considered poor because all the members of his family made a decent living as fishermen and hence his household was rated just above the poverty threshold. This means in reality that his family had enough to eat and subsist, but not enough to pay for “extra” articles like a prosthesis.
In September 2010, however, the Red Cross branch in his commune, after obtaining instructions from the ICRC-SFD office, helped Mr Tô register for a new prosthesis. Two months later, on 30 November, he arrived at the Ho Chi Minh City Rehabilitation Centre with a letter from the ICRC-SFD allowing him to be refitted again after 39 years. Mr Tô is not limping anymore, he walks as everyone for his daily work as a fisherman!
Mr Tô is not limping anymore.