During winter break, 5 BioE students Isabel Arthur, Julia Rhyins, Kerry Eller, Mariette Sargios, Joseph Iskander, and advisor Prof. Marc Fuller traveled to Addis Ababa, Ethiopia for 2 weeks to work with biomedical technicians in St Paul’s hospital.

“We began the trip with a multi-department needs assessment by interviewing nurses and doctors to get a first-hand understanding of the main challenges at St Paul’s. While many of our discoveries are well known by the admins in the hospital, we wanted to get a detailed list to determine areas where we can collaborate with St Paul’s.

Another main focus was to collaborate with the biomedical department in the workshop. We started by taking an inventory of the broken medical equipment to identify the most common equipment and working with the technicians to repair broken equipment. We also taught the engineers and technicians how to create and program simple circuits using an Arduino.

This project marks the beginning of an initiative to enable biomedical technicians to achieve the long term goal of rapid medical device development through circuit design and micro-controller programming.

On the weekends we explore Addis Ababa’s diverse landscape and historical landmarks. Almost every night we indulged in the flavorful Ethiopian cuisine at an amazingly affordable price.

Now we are communicating once a week with the engineers and technicians at St. Paul’s to collaborate on future projects and develop our partnership.” -Engineering World Health