July 14, 10:58 a.m. [View larger]
I had never heard of PATH so when they recently invited me to their offices in Ballard I was flattered and intrigued at the same time.
PATH is a Seattle-based nonprofit organization that has been developing innovative health solutions to improve global health, especially in the Third World, for the past 30 years. Among solutions that have been very successful are the vaccine vial monitors or Uniject, an injection device that is prefilled and disposable.
Past the typical cubicles you’d find at any office building, I was led to a workshop where health engineers Jered Singleton and David Sylvester were working on prototypes. I got a chance to see Singleton testing a cryotherapy device to screen and treat cervical cancer lesions.
Program officer Jennifer Winkler explained that cervical cancer is a very preventable disease and this device is a great alternative to other methods because it doesn’t need electricity. “It’s ideal for use in low resource settings,” she said. About 85 percent of the 270,000 women who die from cervical cancer every year reside in developing countries. 75,000 women die from the disease in India alone.
Some sobering figures that help you put the state of health care in the world in perspective. We need more organizations like PATH finding real solutions.
July 15, 2009 at 4:17 PM