Kaitlyn Harfmann, Reba Maglin Hasley
In African countries, the medical care system is so poor that a person can not even afford a simple neck collar to brace their neck after injury. This grass neck collar is a new, affordable, and in country product that will solve this issue.
In rural African settings, simple medical supplies are too expensive for patients to afford. Neck collars are of particular concern since the people in rural areas must maintain a high level of daily activity. An injured neck results in being bedridden until recovered, a process that can take months. A clinician partnering with our Creative Inquiry team had the idea of using local basket weavers to construct a novel neck collar. The first one ever made is the one to the left, which has been tested for durability and strength on an upper torso apparatus that mimics head movements. The newer one is to the right, one of five new ones that were collected in January during a trip to Tanzania. These utilize a slightly different weaving technique to make the device stronger against force. We are hoping to eventually approve these devices for medical prescription and create directions for proper use. This will help alleviate an issue associated with the medical care-to-cost ratio as well as stimulate the local economy.