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Botswanan Wheelchair
KTH, School of Industrial Engineering and Management (ITM), Machine Design (Dept.).
2014 (English)Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (Two Years)), 10 credits / 15 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

In April 2010 a collaboration of three years started between the foundation Spinalis and theministry of health in Botswana to create permanent resources to treat persons with spinal cordinjuries in Botswana. The work started immediately at the biggest hospital in Botswana locatedin the capital city Gaborone. They notice early that help was needed. Doctors and nurses hadinadequate knowledge about spinal core injures and what it implicates and also access to aidwhere defective. Patients where left in their bed because the doctors didn’t know what to do withthem. When they were sent home the patient still had problems to move which made most ofthem stuck in bed. The mortality ratio was very high during the first year after leaving hospital.Many of them died of infected pressure sores. Most patient didn’t know how to turn around inbed to depressurize the sores by them selves and where depending on people around them.This problem where one of the first the Spinalis foundation helped to solve in Botswana. Theyshowed how patients could learn how to turn around in bed by their own. It resulted in lowernumber of pressure sore and differences where notable on the mortality ratio for patients duringtheir first year at home. By providing patients with aid and knowledge Spinals showed how aspinal core injured person can start live active and healthy. One of the most important aid for aspinal cord injured person is a wheelchair. With a wheelchair people who have difficulties towalk can start moving around by them self, independently, and have a possibility to live anactive healthy life. Unfortunately Spinals had problems to provide their patients with properwheelchairs. They had to import wheelchairs from other parts of the world, which was costly andtime consuming. Spinalis had to relay on donations from other organizations and foundations.Donations are frequently made from developed countries and may appear to be an appropriatestrategy to handle the situation. Donations often cause more problems then solutions. Donatedwheelchairs are often used and are at the end of their useful life and are design to deal with othertypes of environments which often causes mechanical problems. It is often very expensive ifeven possible to obtain replacement parts. Donations also have been reported to have a badimpact on local wheelchair companies. When donations arrive to a community, the local storegets out of business. Later when the donated wheelchairs reach their end of life the localbusinesses have shut down and it gets hard find wheelchairs to supply people that need them.This project aims to solve this problem by develop a concept of a wheelchair which is adaptedfor rough terrain and can be produced locally in Botswana. Hopefully this will make a properwheelchair available for a reasonable price and possibly also contribute to more jobs andeconomic growth in Botswana.The final wheelchair concept this project resulted in has a simple design with simple joints andangels that make it easy and sheep to manufacture. The simple and neat design requires only afew tools when it is manufactured. Parts selected for the wheelchair cost in total 250USD, whichcan be considered to be low for an active wheelchair. The wheelchair is equipped with a longwheelbase and camber angel will allow the user to be active in the wheelchair and use it in thesemi-rough environment it will be exposed to.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
, 2014 IDE
National Category
Mechanical Engineering
URN: urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-168725OAI: diva2:818139
Available from: 2016-10-06 Created: 2015-06-08 Last updated: 2016-10-06Bibliographically approved

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