A little bit of context
Various studies have estimated that about 40% of the medical equipment in resource-poor settings is out of service. This project is a result of recognition of the many difficulties faced by biomedical staff in these countries.
But there’s a problem
Although hospitals in resource-poor countries may have staff responsible for maintaining their medical equipment, in many cases these staff have not been provided with adequate tools or workspace to perform effectively. As a result they are unable to perform many repairs that would be quite simple with the proper tools. This erodes their credibility in the Health system, and their value is not well understood. Much needed equipment (some studies say as much as 40% in these countries) sits idle as a result, and patients are denied essential treatment.
Here’s what we’re doing about it
We will use the funds raised to purchase tools in the local marketplace where the Biomeds are working. This will also help to support the local economy. To assure transparency, funds will be transferred to a third party from a developed country who is working as a volunteer in the local health system. The need for tools and the tools purchased by our project will be documented by photos and videos which will be posted on our web site (tools4techs.ca)
Although the need is enormous, our goal is to provide tools where most needed. Well-equipped Biomeds will then be able to demonstrate their value to the health system. We hope this will lead to other Biomed units in the same health system receiving improved recognition and funding, leading to fewer items of equipment sitting idle, and more patients receiving the care they need.
You can join us
In our initial fundraising campaign, we are aiming to raise $5,000. The campaign is run entirely by volunteers, so our overhead costs are minimal, and relate to the cost of hosting the web site, and any service charges for electronic funds transfers.
We will be identifying Biomeds who have the greatest need by asking them to send us a video in which they describe their current working situation. You can see several of these videos from our pilot project on the project web site (www.tools4tecs.ca). When we send funds for the purchase of tools, we ask for a second video to document what was purchased, and how the tools will be used. Initially, the funding sent to each qualifying biomed only will be $300. We will adjust this amount depending on the amount of funding we manage to raise.