The trip was sponsored by three local industry professionals: Paul Geyer CEO, LightIntegra, Dr. Jim McEwen President, Western Clinical Engineering Ltd., and Dr. Ken Spencer President, SpencerCreo Foundation. And there was plenty of other support from UBC Engineering Design Team Council, the Faculty of Applied Science, and the Neglected Global Diseases Initiative.In Uganda, the team met up with students from Makerere University Biomedical Engineering Program and were given in-depth tours of Mulago National Referral Hospital and Kawolo District Hospital. After a week on the ground they flew into Nairobi and were guided by WelTel International’s team member Jason Carmichael to view Nanyuki County Hospital and the Nyeri Regional Referral Hospital. They brought home a large number of potential projects for improving the existing technology and solving some clinical challenges. They also discovered first-hand the systematic problems that donated equipment, its repair and maintenance can place on a over-stretched health care system. Medical device needs were identified in several areas: orthopedics, newborn health care, surgery, ambulance and laboratory equipment. They ranged in complexity from improvements on ear irrigation equipment to the ability to split one oxygen for several patients in a measurable and safe manner.
In fact, the trip was so successful that the UBC BEST team and it’s IMDI students will have inspiration for at least three years of future development opportunities.
Read a daily blog on the trip.
Watch a team interview on Global News BC1.