The average annual temperature in Sierra Leone is 81 degrees Fahrenheit. The current temperature is 84 degrees with a humidity of 69%. All of the health workers battling the Ebola epidemic in Western Africa in the field are faced with this uncomfortable and unfamiliar climate. Furthermore all of the health workers who are dealing directly with patients and working in the field are required for their safety and the safety of other to wear thick rubber suits, masks, boots, ventilators, and gloves. Movements are slow. The suits are incredibly hot. And every action just just requires more time and more patience. These challenges are why new personal protective gear technology and new field technology is so important during this epidemic.
Recently a new “Ebola Proof” tablet has been developed to withstand all the different factors of field work in the affected areas. The tablet, designed by international technology companies, can withstand water, high humidity, high temperatures, direct sunlight, and chlorine solution of .5 percent, which is used to kill the Ebola virus. The attractive features of this tablet are that its smoothed edges prevents ripping the protective gear and that the tablet is thick rubber glove friendly. Previously field workers were forced to scribble notes, diagnoses, prescriptions, and other medical information on paper. The paper was then pressed against clear windows or clear plastic. Or field workers had to yell information through fences. The flow of information was a general challenge. Although this tablet seems like a small invention for such a big problem, it increases the efficiency of people and therefore helps the infected people too.
- Nalani Wakinekona