Students participate in WHO engineering institute
Chad Bennett repaired medical machinery during his month-long stay in Trujillo, Honduras.
Photo courtesy of Chad Bennett
Bioengineers Chad Bennett and Ben Fleishman spent the summer repairing medical equipment in developing countries through Duke University’s Engineering World Health Summer Institute.
The program sends students to two locations for training—Costa Rica and Tanzania. While Bennett, a senior, participated in Central America, Fleishman, a recent graduate, traveled to Africa. During the first month of the project, the students received language lessons in the mornings and training by biomedical technicians in the afternoons. Then, the students were stationed in hospitals, where they repaired faulty biomedical equipment.
After spending his first month in San José, Costa Rica, Bennett worked with a Cambridge University graduate at the Salvador Paredes Hospital in Trujillo, Honduras. There, the two fixed machinery like ultrasounds, centrifuges, monitors, and lights. They also created a digital inventory and map of the hospital and painted a mural in the pediatric ward. Bennett participated because he wanted to “gain hands-on experience with biomedical equipment and to gain a better appreciation for the direct application of engineering products.” He said that the relationships he formed and the culture he experienced were invaluable.
Ben Fleishman was partnered with Johns Hopkins undergraduate Jinesh Shah at Mt. Meru Hospital in Tanzania.
Photo courtesy of Ben Fleishman
Fleishman was stationed at Mt. Meru Hospital in Arusha, Tanzania, where he said “The work provided an amazing amount of insight into the 'user' end of bioengineering. In other words, working in a hospital, even though it was far different from a western one, showed me how biomedical devices were being used day to day and how the staff inter acted with them.”
He graduated last May and is currently working part-time for 3Dcellculture.com, a start-up company in Pendleton. In the spring he plans to enroll as a bioengineering graduate student.