Effectiveness of medical equipment donations to improve health systems: how much medical equipment is broken in the developing world?

Published

Journal Article

It is often said that most of the medical equipment in the developing world is broken with estimates ranging up to 96% out of service. But there is little documented evidence to support these statements. We wanted to quantify the amount of medical equipment that was out of service in resource poor health settings and identify possible causes. Inventory reports were analyzed from 1986 to 2010, from hospitals in sixteen countries across four continents. The UN Human Development Index was used to determine which countries should be considered developing nations. Non-medical hospital equipment was excluded. This study examined 112,040 pieces of equipment. An average of 38.3% (42,925, range across countries: 0.83-47%) in developing countries was out of service. The three main causes were lack of training, health technology management, and infrastructure. We hope that the findings will help biomedical engineers with their efforts toward effective designs for the developing world and NGO's with efforts to design effective healthcare interventions.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Perry, L; Malkin, R

Published Date

  • July 2011

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 49 / 7

Start / End Page

  • 719 - 722

PubMed ID

  • 21597999

Pubmed Central ID

  • 21597999

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1741-0444

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0140-0118

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1007/s11517-011-0786-3

Language

  • eng