Dr Oluyombo Awojobi founded the hospital at Eruwa, Nigeria, a rural location without consistent access to electricity. Dr Awojobi is an accomplished maker, and over 27 years, he's built a variety of vital medical apparatus out of scrounged materials.
His guiding principles are that devices should be simple and easy to repair, and should not require access to off-site power to run.
He's built an operating table with a foot-pumped jack to raise and lower it, a bike-powered centrifuge, a pedal-powered suction pump made from an inner tube, a corn-cob-powered boiler made from an old propane tank, and more.
His blood centrifuge, which separates plasma from red blood cells, is made from used bike parts. You pedal with your hands and it spins the blood sample as fast as the propeller on a small airplane.
The suction pump that the clinic uses to remove blood and fluids during surgery is made from the valve on a bicycle inner tube and is also powered by pedaling.
The hospital's boiler is made from an old propane tank. For fuel, it uses corn cobs collected from nearby farms. The boiler produces steam for the autoclave, which sterilizes the surgical equipment.
Because most of Awojobi's devices don't need electricity, the hospital doesn't have to rely on the town's unpredictable electrical grid or spend a lot of money running diesel generators when power is down.
That keeps care at the hospital affordable to the farmers who make up its clientele. Delivering a baby costs $30.
And Dr. Awojobi says there is another advantage to designing his own equipment. “Because I make it, I will know how to mend it,” he explains. “I don't have to depend upon anybody else.”
This Nigerian doctor runs his hospital on corn cobs and used bike parts [Rowan Moore Gerety/PRI]
Arnold Drake World is a talented paper artist who sits at a communal table at the cafe in Portland’s legendary Powell’s City of Books and turns paper napkins and towels into “botanically correct flowers” with many flourishes and grace-notes.
Naomi Klein (previously) is the author of several voraciously readable, hugely influential books about radical politics, most recently No is Not Enough, which calls for a positive vision for a different, better future, going beyond the idea of replacing Trump, May and other neoliberal leaders with slightly less neoliberal leaders who might be slightly better […]
Ricky from Inside the Magic writes, “The updated redhead/’wench’ auction scene in Disney’s Pirates of the Caribbean ride has debuted (along with a killer new Captain Barbossa animatronic). The infamous redhead character now has a gun and is no longer being lusted after, instead helping to run an auction for treasure. The controversial changes have […]
The current web development landscape is rife with buzzwords and technology that gets abandoned almost as soon as it’s made. If you’ve never written a line of code before, it can be hard to figure out what’s coming, what’s here to stay, or how to get ahead.This Beginner Web Development Bundle is a great place […]
The Fader Stealth Quadcopter from TRNDlabs packs incredible flight performance into a package small enough to land on your phone screen, and it’s available now in the Boing Boing Store.The Fader’s six-axis gyroscope module gives it perfect balance in the air. This makes the onboard 720p HD camera all the better for shooting amazing flight […]
Although fully autonomous vehicles aren’t yet allowed on public streets, they are poised to dominate the roads in the not-too-distant future. But before that happens, Apple, Google, Uber, and other companies now investing in self-driving tech are going to need talented developers that can account for the dizzying array of factors at play when a […]