Maker Space, University of Nairobi

THE MAKER FOR MATERNAL, NEWBORN & CHILD HEALTH (MNCH) PROJECT

THE MAKER  FOR MATERNAL, NEWBORN & CHILD HEALTH (MNCH) PROJECT

The Maker for MNCH (Maternal and Newborn Child Healthcare) project is a collaboration between the University of  Nairobi – Science and Technology Park, Concern Worldwide , UNICEF and Kenyatta National Hospital.

This project aims to address gaps in health service coverage via the creation of low-cost, high-quality, locally designed and produced alternatives to essential parts and equipment for MNCH service delivery, using local skills and materials. This innovation capitalizes on existing efforts to narrow the divide between users and provision of facility-based MNCH care. It addresses the question of “what next?” when women and infants are able to overcome financial and physical access barriers in an attempt to receive life-saving medical care.

Human Centred Design approach has been employed during the design phase of the medical equipment. Here, teams of students and faculty conducted meetings with the clinicians, nurses and the biomedical engineers from health facilities to seek their input on design and operation of the equipment to be developed.

This relationship has created an innovation ‘hub’ where engineers and makers can now work together with medical practitioners directly from either the health facilities or the prototyping facilities and build solutions that are relevant and custom to the local health facilities.

The experience received from this collaborative project has continued to be useful to the university as it builds capacity in students by granting them a platform to practice the knowledge they have acquired in class and put them  in use as they gain hands on skills through the design and fabrication of the devices. This guarantees skilful graduates as they move into the job market.

A lot of research has so far been conducted around various medical devices of interest. This has led to design and fabrication of devices which are at different stages of development.

  1. Suction Machine
  2. Phototherapy Unit

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