Physician Seyi Oyesola co-developed the "Hospital in a Box" -- a pop-up, portable, solar-powered OR for off-grid medicine in Africa and elsewhere. But, he says, Africa needs more than new tools to heal itself.
Beyond high-visibility illnesses like HIV/AIDS, Dr. Seyi Oyesola points out that common, survivable ailments and injuries -- burns, trauma, heart attacks -- kill thousands of Africans each year because basic medical care can be so hard to get. To help bring surgical care to every region of the continent, Oyesola co-developed CompactOR, or the "Hospital in a Box": a portable medical system that contains anesthetic and surgical equipment. The operating suite is light enough to be dropped into inaccessible zones by helicopter, and can be powered by solar panels.
Although the Hospital-in-a-Box may save lives, Oyesola reminds us that with meager pay and inadequate facilities, there is still little incentive for medical professionals to remain in Africa. Proper education and technical training could pave the way for more, and more capable, new physicians to learn and stay in Africa -- and start the healing of the continent.