Ed note. Esther Nakkazi is freelance science journalist based in Uganda. She is attending the Pacific Health Summit, underway in Seattle this week.
By Esther Nakkazi
One of the Pacific Health Summit auxiliary events was a site visit to PATH, an international non-profit organization, which included a tour for PATH’s Product Development Shop and Research Laboratory led by Dr. Chris Elias, the PATH CEO.
The tour exposed us to health devices, diagnostics and spray-dried vaccines that have the potential to improve women and children’s lives.
At PATH designs of practical health technologies that serve common health problem are made and according to Dr. Elias most designs that work are also the least expensive.
“If you want to improve people’s lives, develop new technologies, simultaneously work with governments to fit them into the local systems and then scale it up,” said Dr. Elias.
However, he cautioned that most of these products need behavior change to get people to use them like the Insecticide Treated bed nets (ITNs).
Some of the new products on PATH’s rack are a new type of woman’s condom funded by the Dutch government (which is less noisy), a jet injector, SILCS diaphragm that acts like a contraceptive and a women’s garment to stop hemorrhage.