Although modern medical equipment is extremely complex, basic challenges continue to prevent them from operating properly in low-resource hospitals. Issues such as damaged cords, clogged filters, or even blown fuses can result in equipment being stored away or discarded. Often new equipment sits in boxes because healthcare staff are not sure how to use a new device, or the manual is not in the local language. Other times, more complex problems require advanced techniques, such as replacing burnt out resistors that have been damaged by a power surge.
The EWH Institute Programs involve intensive training that prepares all STEM majors for improving equipment conditions in our partner hospitals. The course and lab materials were developed by Dr. Malkin’s Developing World Healthcare Technology Lab and are continually supported by the EWH BMET Library.
|EWH Institute Textbook on Amazon||Click Here to view the EWH BMET library|
In 2015, film students from Virginia Commonwealth University visited our program in Nicaragua. Their film below is an excellent overview of the challenges participants face, and the impact they can make through creative problem solving. Many of our partner hospitals do not have any technical support and, as you will see, even in Nicaragua where they do, many challenges remain...
Once training is complete, participants work with our partner hospitals for 3-8 weeks, providing technical and engineering support. Since 2004, over 700 EWH Institute participants have repaired over 7,000 pieces of hospital equipment, worth an estimated $14.3 million. Equipment repaired commonly includes (but is not limited to) autoclaves, blood pressure cuffs, centrifuges, infant warmers and incubators, microscopes, patient monitors, and ultrasound machines.
For more details see each program's report:
In addition, each team completes a secondary project. After speaking with staff and doing inventories to assess a hospital's needs, the team must design a project to meet the need. Past teams have purchased spare parts for their hospitals, built play areas for pediatric wards, translated instruction manuals for equipment, cleaned out rooms and built workshops for local technicians, installed a sink inside the hospital for nurses, built clotheslines for a hospital's laundry, hung mosquito nets over all the beds in a patient ward, built benches for waiting patients and family members, installed hand sanitizer stations, secured loose oxygen tanks, and much more.
Presentations and other reports
At the end of each program, EWH hosts a conference for participants to come together and share their experiences and the work they've accomplished. Here are a few of their presentations.
Click to view and/or download:
- Alumni Panel Q&A - Former participants share their experience with upcoming 2016 participants
- Tracy & Anne's Photo Slide Conference Presentation - Summer Institute Rwanda 2015
- James and Justin Conference Presentation - Summer Institute Nicaragua 2014
- Ashley, David and KJ - Report - Medical Equipment at KCMC, Tanzania 2014
- Ritters Conference Presentation - Summer Institute Rwanda 2013
Each year, our participants document their experience in pictures. Want to know more about what participants do in our programs?
Look through EWH Institute participants' pictures on Flickr by clicking here.