May 082013
Despite good intentions, life-saving medical donations often end up discarded or broken. New training programs aim to change all that

Medical equipment donations enable hospitals in developing countries to get their hands on expensive and much-needed technology. But there’s a growing concern that those donations do more harm than good. Hallways and closets often become cluttered with unused or broken-down equipment for which locals lack parts or training in how to make repairs. Outdated electrical systems groan under the strain of large medical devices, possibly compromising a hospital’s power.

“I think there is a great risk for every medical device donation that it’s going to hurt the recipient,” says Robert Malkin, a professor of the practice of biomedical engineering at Duke University.

Recently, a study of seven hospitals in Haiti found only 30 percent of the 115 pieces of medical equipment donated after the 2010 earthquake were working and 14 percent of the equipment could not be repaired. The study also found that some donated devices, such as incubators for premature babies, could never work in the hospitals, because they required a higher electrical voltage than is standard in Haiti.

The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates (pdf) that as much as 80 percent of medical equipment in some countries is donated or funded through foreign sources, but only 10 percent to 30 percent of the donations are ever put into operation.

Read more . . .

via Scientific American – Andrew Jones

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  One Response to “Medical Equipment Donated to Developing Nations Usually Ends Up on the Junk Heap”

  1. we are part of company which runs medical clinic representing the old family physicians . we have about 20 clnics in bangalore each clnic is managed by a doctor and suportng staff .it caters to the middleclass and low midde class .it handles most of the common disease and and what is not manageble are referred to major hospitals .this chain of clnics re called modern family doctor pvt ltd . we are in need of an ambulance .we are in the look out for a donor whocan donate one ofte moden ambulance to us whic will be of great help to run our clnic thanking you from dr manjula rau

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