Successfully completing a surgery is no small feat under the best conditions. But imagine trying to pinpoint the right spot for an incision with no light in a dirty environment: It just can’t be done.
A new invention might fix that. It’s a 20-foot shipping container called the Sterile Box, and it contains everything needed to clean and sterilize surgical equipment. It’s designed to be dropped into most any setting where people need medical attention but can’t get it due to infrastructure problems.
People living in rural Malawi, for instance, lack easy access to electricity and piped water, which means it’s not really possible for them to undergo potentially lifesaving surgeries without traveling to an urban center — even in a relatively routine situation like childbirth.
The Sterile Box provides a few solutions. It’s solar-powered and contains a water filtration system. It sterilizes medical equipment with steam via an autoclave device. Surgery doesn’t happen in the unit itself, but it’s there to provide clean tools, light and electricity to doctors.
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