The Starfish Foundation: Empowering Change

In exchange for posting EWH’s blog about the importance of STEM education in the developing world, the Starfish Foundation is here to share how their work improves access to education and helps end extreme poverty one student at a time.

The Starfish Foundation provides scholarship and mentoring to youth living in extreme poverty in Guayaquil, Ecuador.

The idea developed after co-founders Beth and Jenn volunteered for a year in Ecuador at a shelter for former street kids. Though many of them had the motivation to study, they lacked financial resources to be able to attend school once leaving the shelter.

Many such students cannot afford to pay for books, uniforms, and other school supplies. Though public schools in Ecuador are free, families often still struggle to provide all the necessary materials while living on minimum wage. The easiest solution is to not go to school, perpetuating the cycle of poverty. 

BMET Cambodia: Applying Classroom Skills to Real World Repairs

February and March were busy, productive months for BMET Training in Cambodia.

We were very fortunate to host Dani Forster from the UK’s The Medical Room who came to teach with us in late January and early February. With a very strong background in professional BMET Training, Dani really stretched our students in terms of their technical troubleshooting disciplines and ran a combination of theory and practical exercises. She focused on non-invasive blood pressure apparatus (both manual and automatic).

Dani Forster Teaching in Cambodia

Dani Forster Teaching BMET Cambodia Students

BMET Nigeria: Six Months of Progress

In Fall 2014, EWH launched a new BMET Training program in Nigeria, in partnership with the GE Foundation. In our first class, we are hosting 19 students from different parts of Nigeria and with different training backgrounds. The newest student, Mr. Oyeniyi, is the Maintenance Officer for the medical equipment at Dunik Medical Centre Limited (DMC), Hospital & Maternity Home. DMC is about a 30 minute drive from Lagos University Training Hospital (LUTH), where our program is located.

At the end of February, EWH’s BMET Training in Nigeria had just finished four weeks of electronics training. In March, we began a section on Circuit Reading and Troubleshooting. Dr. Carmen Walker, MD, PhD, has been an outstanding instructor.

We have also received all 12 of the workbenches and 24 stools for the Biomedical Training Center. These will go a long way toward creating a usable workshop for our students to practice their hands-on skills. Both the workbenches and the stools were constructed locally by craftsmen on the LUTH campus.

Workbenches in Nigeria

Cornell University Chapter Goes to Peru, Part 1

Guest Blog written by EWH Chapter at Cornell University

Trip to Peru

Recently, five members of Cornell's EWH team returned from field research Lima, Peru. There, we spent eight days partnering with MEDLIFE International. Our team members volunteered in the MEDLIFE clinics to improve their understanding of how healthcare technology is administered in developing countries. They gained deep insights into the community and regional clinic system and came back with many new ideas for medical devices, some of which are now in development.

EWH Cornell Group

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