Monday, June 30, 2014

Other Friends Blogs

Here are some links to friends blogs who are here with me.

Kristen Duckworth is one of our leaders here. She is a graduate student at A&M and participated on an EWH program in Tanzania last year.

The next two are by Emil Munthe. Hes Danish and on his last year for his bachelors.

Neil Rens is a junior John Hopkins University.

Katelin Diguette is a junior at A&M.

Sunday, June 29, 2014

End of the First week in Gihundwe!

My first week here has been pretty eventful. Since the last update Adam managed to fix two more incubators. I was taken out by a pretty nasty stomach bug for two days. We are now entering week two and the only devices left in the hospital to fix are really old O2 concentrators (which we don’t have much hope for since they are designed to last a certain number of hours and they all seem way past their due date).
The oven we “fixed” last Tuesday we really didn’t fix because on Wednesday it was broken again. I am pretty proud of this fix so that’s why I am going to describe it. The problem was it was not turning on until the temperature was set over 200 C. Now, the sensor inside the oven is broken so we have no way of telling what the temperature actually is. We find a way to calibrate the temperature inside the oven to the temperature on the knob we use to set the temperature. (Basically there is a knob on the front of the machine that reads from 30C to 200C, the nurses set it to a certain temperature using this knob) (On the back there is a knob inside the machine that is used to also change the temperature. The goal here is to get the back knob and front knob in sync). After we figured this out we took some time to determine how we would be able to calibrate the machine with no temperature sensor and no thermometer that can read that high. Why don’t you think about it and see if you can think of a solution….

What we decided to do was take a beaker of water and place it inside the oven. Water boils at 100 C right? So we spent a long time calibrating but finally got it to where at 90C there were no sign of bubbles and at 110C the water boiled.

We will begin to look for secondary project ideas and needs that the hospital has. A secondary project can be anything we can do right now for the hospital. Painting a room, making a table, building a simple machine like a bilirubin light. We are also looking for needs that the hospital has. For example, they sure could use a device that accomplishes _____ for the patients.

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Working in Gihundwe Hospital

This week we started working in our first of two hospitals, Gihundwe Hospital. We are approximately 10 min to lake Kivu where we witness beautiful sunsets over the mountains of the Congo, and 30 min to Nuyungwe National Park which is strait jungle. Our hospital is a middle sized hospital in Rwandas standards, with 87 pieces of machinery of which 15 are currently out of use. Since being here we have fixed two Nebulizers ( which transform liquid into mist for oral consumption), 1 oven and a lab analyzer. I am currently waiting on a second over to heat to 220 C before I can begin my troubleshooting on it. Life at the hospital is exciting. Its just puzzle after puzzle. Occasionally our BMET/BOSS will receive a call and we have to do a repair while the machine is in use. We fixed a giant lab analyzing machine used to analyze blood samples for HIV. It was a simple fix, the user had the wrong concentration of solution in the machine. Ahead of us lies 4 incubators, 1 dental chair, 4 O2 concentrators, 1 light generator, 1 laundry dryer, 1 pulse oximiter and 1 water purifier. As well as anything else that breaks during our time here. Prayers for wisdom and guidance while going through these machines will be much appreciated.