Emmanuel Rutema was so excited to test out his new prosthetic arm he promptly knocked himself on the nose. “Be careful with your face!” the hospital prosthetist told the boy whose grin just grew wider.
Rutema is one of four Tanzanian children with albinism visiting the United States to get prosthetic limbs to replace those hacked off in brutal superstition-driven attacks in their East African homeland.
At Shriners Hospital for Children in Philadelphia on Tuesday three of them got the new limbs that will help them do everyday tasks most people take for granted. Rutema, the oldest at 15, speaks with difficulty.
His attackers chopped off one arm and the fingers of the other hand and tried to pull out his tongue and teeth. Also getting prosthetics were Baraka Lusambo, 7, and Mwigulu Magesa, 14, each of whom lost parts of their arms in attacks.
People with albinism live in danger in Tanzania where their body parts are used in witchcraft and can fetch a high price.