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Bringing Healthcare to Rural Ghana: The Impact on Engineerin

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2014 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Indianapolis, Indiana

Publication Date

June 15, 2014

Start Date

June 15, 2014

End Date

June 18, 2014



Conference Session

Impact of Community Engagement on Communities

Tagged Division

Community Engagement Division

Page Count


Page Numbers

24.236.1 - 24.236.9



Permanent URL

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Paper Authors


Andrea Kubicki The Pavlis Institute for Global Technological Leadership

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As a senior pre-medicine student at Michigan Technological University, I traveled to Ghana this summer through the Pavlis Institute for Global Technological Leadership. Before traveling, I worked with a team from the International Business Venture Enterprise and engineering senior design team to create a mobile health clinic. While in Ghana, my team introduced the mobile health clinic and went into the field to collect data on the use of the vehicle and ideas for improvement in the future.

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Laura Lynn Lynch Pavlis Institute for Global Technological Leadership

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I am a fourth-year biomedical engineering/pre-medicine student at Michigan Technological University in Houghton, Mi. I traveled to Malta this past summer through the Pavlis Institute for Global Technological Leadership. While in Malta I completed service projects that both enhanced my leadership skills and provided me insights to the differences in learning outcomes associated with leadership and cultural literacy in developed versus developing countries.

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Robert O. Warrington Jr. Michigan Technological University

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Robert O. Warrington is currently Director of the Institute for Leadership and Innovation, which houses the highly interdisciplinary and innovative Enterprise program, the High School Enterprise program and the Pavlis Institute for Global Technological Leadership at Michigan Technological University. Dr. Warrington was Dean of the College of Engineering from 1996 to 2007 and was the founder and Director of the Institute for Micromanufacturing at Louisiana Tech University. Before joining Michigan Tech in 1996, he received his BS degree in Aerospace Engineering from Virginia Polytechnic Institute, his MS in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Texas at El Paso and his PhD in Mechanical Engineering from Montana State University. Dr. Warrington served in the US Army for two years and on the faculty at Montana State University for eight years. He was the head of the Mechanical and Industrial Engineering Department at Louisiana Tech University for 11 years, and was the Director of the Institute for Micromanufacturing from 1991-1996. Dr. Warrington was a founding advisory board member for the ASME Nanotechnology Institute. He is past VP for Education, Centers Sector of ASME. He currently leads the Vision 2030 study for the future of mechanical engineering education. He was a member of the Board of Directors for ABET after serving a number of years as a program evaluator, member of the Engineering Accreditation Council and the Executive Committee of the EAC. Dr. Warrington is chair of the Education Committee for the Pan American Federation of Engineering Societies (UPADI). Dr. Warrington is a Fellow of ASME and AAAS and is a member of the Pan American Academy of Engineering. He was an associate editor (now emeritus) for the ASME/IEEE Journal of Microelectromechanical Systems and has over 150 technical publications and numerous presentations (35 invited), and 49 research grants from foundations, government and industry. Dr. Warrington is the founder of the Commercialization of Microsystems Conferences, is a past founding president of MANCEF and currently is a member of the executive board for MANCEF. Dr. Warrington was an Associate Director for the Center for Wireless Integrated Microsystems, an NSF Engineering Research Center (2000-10). Dr. Warrington's research interests include MEMS (particularly micro heat transfer and fluid flow), micromanufacturing, energy scavenging at the microscale, and micromechanical machining processes.

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Bringing Healthcare to Rural GhanaA mobile health clinic was designed and built through collaboration among the Pavlis Institutefor Global Technological Leadership (Pavlis Institute), the IBV (Biomedical Products for GlobalMarkets) Enterprise, and a mechanical engineering technology senior design team. The threeentities created a mobile clinic for people in the remote villages of Ghana who often lack themeans to visit healthcare centers in their region. A 12-passenger vehicle was retrofitted with awater supply system, auxiliary power system, lighting system, two jump seats, refrigeration,microscopes, EKG machine, centrifuge, generator, awning, and portable ultrasound. The vehiclewas shipped to Ghana and a team of undergraduate students from the Pavlis Institute traveled toGhana to facilitate the implementation of the mobile health clinic and collect data on clinic. Inthe first week of use, the clinic served 654 patients and it was found that 29% of patients hadtreatable malaria, among many other illnesses. Affordable mobile healthcare brought directly tothe people allowed medical teams to administer preventive care and treatment. If expanded,mobile healthcare could greatly reduce the number of preventable deaths in the future. There is agreat need and potential for mobile health clinics in Ghana. The team is currently looking atdeveloping a flexible modular medical equipment package that would be outfitted with donatedequipment and could be inserted into used vans that are readily available in Ghana. Thesemodular packages would have everything needed for diagnostics and treatment; several could befitted into shipping containers, which would greatly reduce the cost. The modular packageswould also contain first-aid equipment since it was found that there was a lack of first-aidknowledge and application. In the future, vehicles in Ghana and similar countries could beoutfitted with modular packages, providing affordable healthcare to millions of those currently inneed.

Kubicki, A., & Lynch, L. L., & Warrington, R. O. (2014, June), Bringing Healthcare to Rural Ghana: The Impact on Engineerin Paper presented at 2014 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Indianapolis, Indiana. 10.18260/1-2--20127

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