Our partnership with Stanford’s Design for Extreme Affordability course is in full swing. As you may recall, students in the class learn to design products and services that will positively change the lives of the world’s poorest citizens.
After ReSurge was selected in December as one of eight project partners, we developed and pitched a “wish list” to the participating students describing the urgent need for burn injury prevention and treatment in Nepal. The response was overwhelming. Our project was met with such enthusiasm that not one but three teams were delegated to tackle our challenge over the semester.
This week is particularly exciting as the students are heading to Nepal with ReSurge’s chief advocacy officer, Sara Anderson, for a first hand look at the challenges they will address. Three students departed on Wednesday, and the rest will join them in Kathmandu over the weekend. The teams, comprised of students from a variety of disciplines, will work together with our Nepali partners to design products and services to help eliminate the needless disabilities that occur when individuals experience a burn injury and do not receive the necessary care and treatment.
In a resource-challenged country like Nepal, burns are commonplace, as many homes use unsafe open fires for cooking, heating and lighting. There is a vast shortage of doctors, surgeons and facilities for burns. When care is available, few poor people can afford it. The problem is so significant that the three teams will be approaching it from three different angles: the village level, the health systems level and the operating room level. While in Nepal, some of the students will have the opportunity to stay with a Nepali host family in a village and others will get to collaborate with our partners who perform burn surgeries.
After they return to the states, team members will spend April and May using what they learned on their Nepal trip to further develop and polish their ideas and products. The project will culminate on June 5 when each team will deliver presentations on their final products and interventions.
In the past, the program has resulted in numerous products and ideas that have gone on to be implemented in the world’s poorest countries and have improved the lives of countless people. To see some of the projects students have developed, visit the Extreme website.
We are grateful to be a part of this partnership and look forward to taking one more step toward eliminating burn injury disabilities in Nepal. Stay tuned to see what the talented teams come up with!