Seven EPFL students recently completed two studies in Cameroon that will have a significant impact on the design of GlobalDiagnostiX X-ray equipment, as well as on long-term collaboration with local stakeholders in the health system.
The first study, conducted by Nadia Berard, Margaux Voumard, Simone Bonaccorsi, and Heinz Strässle, focused on radiation protection measures. The study entailed the visit by these four students to twenty-five hospitals throughout the country, as well as to key players, such as the National Agency for Radiation Protection in Cameroon. The students were able to identify major malfunctions, often due to the lack of resources, of equipment and of adequate infrastructure, but also to the lack of training or awareness of local actors.
These studies were conducted as part of an 8-week internship in Cameroon organized by the EssentialMed foundation, and with grants obtained from the EPFL (CODEV) Cooperation Center and Ingénieurs du Monde (IdM).The second study focused on the patient identification system and the management of medical data, often problematic when computerized systems are weak and there is a need to treat people from many different ethnicities and cultures. Marion Chassouant, Coralie Boulet, and Bastien Monney conducted the study in twenty-three hospitals across the country accompanied by local medical students.
Both groups presented their findings on 27th August 2014 in Cameroon, during a concluding seminar chaired by Professor Samuel Nko'o Amvene of the Faculty of Medicine of Yaoundé. Dr. JR Moulion Tapouh, a Cameroonian radiologist contracted for the GlobalDiagnostiX project, and Romain Sahli, the project manager who travelled especially for the occasion, organized the event. The seminar included the participation of several Cameroonian personalities in the field of health, who took part in workshops with the aim of developing solutions to the problems uncovered.