Advancing Our Equipping Efforts

Written by Lindsay Doucette

As an organization, Solidarity Bridge envisions a world where medical professionals have the necessary resources to serve their own communities. But currently, according to the MedSurplus Alliance, as much as 80% of the medical supplies and equipment used in low-income countries is donated as surplus from other countries. While organizations like ours and the MedSurplus Alliance work to ensure that only only high quality, functional equipment is donated, all medical equipment requires ongoing maintenance.  

In Bolivia, biomedical engineering is a new and emerging field. Very few hospitals currently have access to a biomedical engineer, particularly an engineer specialized in repairing a specific type of equipment. In an effort to build this field of expertise locally, our partner hospitals in Cochabamba have requested assistance and training from biomedical engineers specialized in the repair of X-ray equipment. Solidarity Bridge and Puente de Solidaridad are excited to advance our equipping efforts by responding to this need. Thanks to our partners at the TriMedx Foundation, this week begins our second Biomedical Engineering Mission Trip (a first trip took place in November 2018).

Our missioners (in blue) are greeted by colleagues at the Puente de Solidaridad office.

Our missioners (in blue) are greeted by colleagues at the Puente de Solidaridad office.

On Saturday, two TriMedx engineers with backgrounds in X-ray technology traveled to Cochabamba, along with Senior Program Director, Lindsay Doucette. During this mission week they will be working with technicians at the Viedma and Belga Hospitals to repair highly valuable x-ray equipment. As they work, these bilingual engineers will be shadowed by engineering students from local universities. They will also provide lectures for Bolivian engineering students, encouraging them to consider a future career in the biomedical field.  

By training and equipping local engineers and medical professionals, we can help remove barriers to safe and affordable surgery for Bolivian patients.