Our travel team has left for Zambia!
EWB-BU members Grace Wang, Declan Bowman, and Nathanael Lee, in addition to mentor Mohammed Jafri of the Boston Professional Chapter, left for our pre-assessment trip on August 13. They plan to come back on the 27th.
During the two weeks our team is in Zambia, there is a lot to get done! This is a pre-assessment trip, so our team will be looking to get a better understanding of Naluja, the community where our program has opened, and of its people. By sending our members to Zambia, we hope to pinpoint some of the problems the Naluja community is experiencing and start brainstorming projects that might be able to appease these needs.
One of the ways we’ll be collecting data is through a Baseline Health Assessment, with which we’ll try to explore the health-related challenges the community faces. Our team will be collecting information about the Naluja community through interviews with the residents and their own observations. We’ll also be using data already compiled by Measure DHS and the Central Statistical Office of Zambia. If you’d like to take a look, check out the following links:
By the end, we hope to get a better sense about the needs of the community so we can figure out to best address them.
Check back on our blog soon for more updates about what we’re doing in Naluja, Zambia!
We’re really excited to be able to send members of EWB-BU to Zambia! The entire group has been working towards this goal for a very long time, so it’s very exciting to see all the hard work come to fruition. Thank you to our members for helping us reach this point! We wish our travel team the best of luck in Zambia!
Hello everyone! Hopefully everyone has had a lovely spring break and are looking forward to the next couple of months before summer vacation.
In recent news, check out the blog posts of Professor Muhammad Zaman, advisor to our BU chapter of Engineers Without Borders, on The Huffington Post! With titles such as “Make Development Part of the Equation” and “Engineering a Healthy Tomorrow for the Poorest Billions,” Zaman looks at the greater context of engineering in today’s world and the impact it can have on the lives of billions in the future. It’s incredible, he says, that engineering has led to such technological innovations and accomplishments already, such as “sending the man on the moon and building bridges and buildings that defy imagination.” Hopefully, continued imagination and creativity and hard work on the part of global engineers can continue this trend, with the focus of using engineering to better the lives of those in the poorest countries. While in recent years engineering programs have seen a decline in the number of applicants and interested individuals, this field has enormous implications for the future.
With the world’s population over 7 billion people and growing at an exponential rate (http://ngm.nationalgeographic.com/7-billion), efforts must be made so that the poorest regions in the world are not held back, or regress, due to a disparity in resources and innovation and education, but instead are encouraged to progress and create the foundation for a healthy and sustainable future by investing in education and innovation. It is imperative that the conditions today in the poorest countries – including a lack of proper infrastructure, inadequate health services, etc. – not set the tone for the future. As Zaman says, “gone are the days when we accepted disease, suffering and poverty as the common lot of the poor.” It is no longer acceptable to simply sit back on our laurels when there are issues that can be acted upon and situations that need to be changed. It’s not an option to let such suffering continue. And engineers play a big part in ensuring that this idea of growth and progress, even in the poorest of countries, come to fruition in the future. Ultimately, everyone benefits from this investment in the future. “The creation of new knowledge and new paradigms to address the global problems will inevitable lead to discovery of new, cheaper and robust design criteria that will have an impact on all societies, including ours, here in the US.”
And this is something that the BU chapter of Engineers Without Borders is working on. We hope that our project in Zambia, in partnership with the Center for Global Health and Development (CGHD) and the Zambia Center for Applied Health Research and Development (ZCAHRD), will help to contribute toward alleviating the current situation with HIV test results. For more information on our project, click the following link: http://people.bu.edu/ewbexec/Projects.html.
To read Professor Zaman’s blog posts, click the following link: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/muhammad-h-zaman
We’ve been horribly negligent in updating this, but we’re back and ready to renew our blog’s web presence. Hopefully, you haven’t completely forgotten us
To get you up to speed:
We closed our project in Peru and are working to open a new program. Students from the BU School of Public Health continue to work with the community and were just finishing up some more health surveys this past spring. For our newest program, we’ve been building connections with clinics in the Mazabuka district of Zambia via the Center for Global Health & Development (CGHD) and its local representative the Zambia Center for Applied Health Research and Development (ZCAHRD).
CGHD has started a pilot program in these rural Mazabuka district clinics to speed up the transmission of infant HIV/AIDS test results from dried blot spot (DBS) tests. By using SMS messaging, 1-3 weeks of waiting time can be trimmed. This means a quicker turnaround for a treatment plan, and acts as an incentive for mothers to return to the clinics for post natal care while their test results are arriving. The problem is cell phone reception. Because the clinics are rural the reception is very weak and unreliable. If we could offer a method to increase the reception, this program would be much more successful and relevant.
We are extremely excited at the prospect of collaborating with ZCAHRD. However, we still need to work with EWB-USA to be sure our project matches their mission and gets approved. Until then, we cannot ‘officially’ start any work on a project.
While we continue to work through the red tape and talk with national, our technical lead, Saeed, has been working to find a mentor on our campus with knowledge of cell phone reception.
The next item on our agenda is to throw our Annual Silent Auction Reception. This will be held on Thursday, October 27 at 6 pm on Boston University’s campus. We’d love to have all of our supporters turn out, so save the date!
Boston University-EWB Executive Board