Tuesday, June 23, 2015

First Day at Mt. Meru Regional Hospital

Every friday our class squishes into a bus and goes to a hospital to fix equipment all while getting a hands on learning experience in the feild. Going to Mt. Meru Regional hospital in Arusha was the highlight of my week even though it was COLD and the only day it rained. This was unfortunate as most of the devices we worked on were electrical . . .

Anyway the first device I worked on was a baby scale (purely mechanical). It did not appear to be seriously broken so my parter and I opened it up, cleaned the inside and calibrated it- took ~ 1.5 hours.
  Here is the photo of the final product!
Then we went to work on a suction pump that could not suck very much- this was difficult because of our lack of knowledge and took the rest of the day. Another challenge was that many of the screws were stripped so opening the darn thing was almost impossible. In the end, we learned our lesson that we need to take careful stock of all our screws. . . . On the bright side, we think we can get this running next week after making the main pump better sealed with epoxy! Its a long shot but, these pieces of equipment are crucial in the operating room. 
Below is a picture of the device mostly disassembled.
As a final note, I wanted to speak to the rooms upon rooms of broken/donated equipment. It was recently that I had heard most of the donated equipment to developing countries does not get used for very long or at all. This was sadly very apparent at Mt. Meru Hospital.  The pictures below are just two of the many rooms that were filled with broken equipment and the wort part of it was this building now used for storage of bad equipment,  used to be a children's ward. There are a variety of reasons why this has happened (which I will not drone on about) but, seeing these rooms helped solidify WHY I am here. I know my work will not be truly sustainable but I hope my efforts can help spread the knowledge of this serious problem.

These photos are spooky- almost as spooky as being in them.

Sorry for the depressing post- I am still having a great time in Tanzania and I'll make sure to keep you all updated!

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