Making Medical Devices for African Children

Photo: Kinjal Vasavada, ’17

Through Stanford’s Design for Extreme Affordability program, a student team, including Kinjal Vasavada, ’17, and medical student Richie Sapp, ’13, MS ’13, traveled to Eastern Cape, South Africa, to help fit small children with cerebral palsy into the inexpensive standing positioner devices they’d created. They also aided physical therapists from a local nonprofit with routine assessments and fittings. Vasavada photographed their work with clients, including an 11-year-old boy who has hydrocephalus and blindness. His mother had carried him seven miles to the appointment so he could be assessed and measured for a chair and, hopefully, sit upright someday. “Her story is a testament to the strength of the many mamas we met,” writes Vasavada, now a medical student at Tufts, “and the great lengths to which they go every single day for the ones they love.”

Jill Patton, ’03, MA ’04, is the senior editor for Stanford.