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Rice unveils $100 million initiative for world health technology
Date:9/28/2007

ucation Program. Last summer, seven undergraduates took their technologies and educational programs to Africa for real-world testing and implementation in clinics run by the Baylor International Pediatric AIDS Initiative.

Kim Bennett, a senior who interned this summer in Malawi, was on a team that designed a pump to accurately dispense liquid medication according to a childs individual needs. Called the "ABC pump," the device aims to eliminate human error associated with current syringe and medicine cup techniques.

"I brought the ABC Pump to Malawi to show it to the doctors in the clinic where I was working," Bennett said. "It met with rave reviews. One doctor wanted to know when it would be available in Malawi."

A Rice student team enrolled in this fall's class is already working on developing a battery-powered IV drip monitor that can warn nurses and doctors in time to prevent pediatric deaths. Hospitals are reluctant to use life-saving fluids now because they are unable to control the volumes given to patients.

Sophie Kim and Christina Lagos, two Rice undergraduates who interned this summer in Lesotho, taught a health and HIV-awareness class of their own design in an orphanage, and worked with social workers and doctors at a clinic to revamp the counseling program that teaches HIV patients and their caregivers how to take antiretroviral medications.

"Our goal was to make adherence counseling much more educational by teaching the concepts of drug resistance, how antiretroviral therapy works and the importance of strict drug adherence," Kim said.

Kim and Lagos trained about 40 volunteer counselors to ensure that the program would continue long after they left.

"Seeing what I saw -- the kids that were dying and their families -- you cannot be complacent after that," Kim said. "I always knew I wanted to go to medical school and work toward ending health disparities, but it really put a fire in me, parti
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Contact: David Ruth
druth@rice.edu
713-348-6327
Rice University
Source:Eurekalert

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