In 2013, David Kovacs was an engineering student at the Technical University of Denmark. EWH had a Chapter at DTU, and EWH’s Summer Institute was popular with DTU’s engineering students. The program caught David’s eye, and he joined EWH for Summer Institute 2014 in Tanzania.
As a new academic year kicks off, EWH celebrates the successful completion of the 2016 Summer Institutes! Eighty students worked in Nicaragua & Guatemala, Rwanda, Tanzania, and Nepal to repair equipment, teach hospital staff how to use and maintain that equipment, and gain a deep understanding of hospital conditions in low-resource settings. Thanks and congratulations to all who helped make it happen!
In addition, we've got some big news: EWH is hiring! As our Summer & January Institute programs continue to grow, we are looking for two new program coordinators. Read the full job descriptions here.
This account of the University of Portland's third repair trip to Haiti is written by: Noah Webster, President of University of Portland’s Biomedical Engineering club, and an incoming junior studying mechanical engineering and chemistry.
When I first heard about this opportunity of service through the biomedical engineering club at University of Portland, I knew little of their two prior biomedical repair trips to Haiti in 2014 and 2015. These were organized by a Portland-based nonprofit, Biomedical Engineering Technology Aid Intl (BETA Intl), in conjunction with Project Medishare’s Hospital Bernard Mevs in Port-au-Prince, Haiti. Funding was provided through University of Portland engineering dept. This year’s team was one of the most interdisciplinary: it included our chaperone, Jared Rees, a faculty technician who specializes in electrical engineering; Emily Bliven, who just received her Master’s degree in our new Biomedical Engineering graduate program; Kevin Jones, an electrical engineering and chemistry student; Alex Rouhier, who is studying mechanical engineering; and Mackenzie Brandon, who studies biology. Jared, along with BETA’s CEO, Dan Schuster, had been on both prior trips, while our team captain, Emily, was a veteran of the 2015 trip. Our diverse knowledge base was broad enough that with the proper training beforehand, we were confident in our ability to diagnose and fix almost any medical equipment.
EWH's twenty participants in SI Nepal spent their first week in Nepal learning about the local culture and language. Now, the group has split into smaller teams and gone to their local hospitals to get to work. Thanks to the pre-course the group took in Denmark before arriving in Nepal, they are all ready to go! Here's a look at their experience so far:
"We spent the first five days in Dhulikhel in our own little European bubble. We started our language classes and learnt the most important do’s and don’ts in Nepal. We practiced eating with our hands and saying thank you in Nepali ( [daneebad] which I still have difficulties saying perfectly). The hardest thing about learning the Nepali culture and language is that the locals will never correct your mistakes, so you can go for weeks before you meet a kid who will correct you. The first time I was corrected was at the Sunrise orphanage because I didn’t sit correctly while eating." - Hilal
The view while studying
Thanks to Libby Mills, the Coordinator for BMET Ethiopia, for her contributions to this post.
In June, BMET students in Ethiopia finished another semester of Training the Trainers. The students now have much better access to tools and medical equipment, which has improved their ability to practice hands-on skills. The more they learn, the more their interest and dedication grow!