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|such as lost results or mistaken delivery. A typical timeline for this process is 6 weeks due to the 135 km one-way trip from Lusaka, the capital, to the rural Kalomo clinics we’re hoping to work with. In pilot facilities, the DBS-SMS system has decreased wait time by nearly two weeks.
However, this system relies upon cell phones, and many of these clinics are rural and out of reliable cell phone coverage. Rather than making the success of this program dependent on a technicality like signal strength, we hope to make the DBS-SMS system more accessible and reliable by developing cell phone reception boosters. There are over 10 clinics in the Kalomo region that have adopted the DBS-SMS program and struggle to find a signal, and we will focus on the Naluja clinic first. By making the HIV status of infants more accessible and reliable, we hope to aid the CGHD’s efforts for early infant diagnosis.
Our mission is to develop cell phone reception boosters, made from materials readily available in the community, and to instruct community members on the fabrication and maintenance of these boosters. Applications of this technology are not limited to DBS tests or even the health sector, and locals could even reproduce this device for personal use.
Click Here to view our antenna team's most current design.
|Clean Water Access
Upon returning from our first assessment trip in Zambia, we have identified the need for clean water in the Naluja community. Water tests we performed revealed the presence of high levels of coliform bacteria, including E. Coli in several water sources that the community relies upon. We have designed a preliminary solution to address this problem: a biosand filter. This filter can serve several households and relies on gravity to filter dangerous bacteria out of the water. Several layers of sand of different sizes filter the water into a receptacle for storage. The filter can be constructed entirely out of materials available to Zambians, and we estimate the cost of one filter to be less than $45 USD, which makes it an attractive option for the community's needs.
Click Here to view our water team's most current design.
The Naluja community, and their health clinic in particular, faces a shortage of a reliable power source. A consistent source of electricity is necessary for the clinic's refrigerator, which stores essential and vulnerable medications for residents. The current off-grid solution in place, solar panels, was found to be unreliable as well as unmaintainable by locals as they lacked the technical knowledge necessary to fix it. To address this problem, we have designed a bike-powered generator that will be able to supply power to fit the clinic's needs. A rider would mount their own bicycle on our frame, and their pedaling action will charge a battery that will store power. This bicycle design would act as a supplement to the existing solar panels to power the clinic's refrigerator. We are currently at the prototyping stage of this project, and aim to have a full working model by the summer of 2013.
Click Here to view our electricity team's most current design.
|We recently closed our program in Chirimoto, Peru where we worked toward a community-wide water filtration system. Other projects included hygiene and disease awareness, implementation of stove hoods, and proper battery disposal.|