Recently Field Ready was invited to speak at two Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) conferences. The first was the Scientific Day held in Delhi, India at the end of May. It was one of three similar events MSF ran this year, the other two being run in London and Johannesburg. The idea – to provide a platform to highlight new research and insight being generated by teams inside and outside of MSF.
The event was very well attended and the quality of the work presented was outstanding, from trials in India on new drugs for Tuberculosis, to new processes for gathering accurate data on snake bites, to innovative methodologies to better broach the subject of mental health.
Field Ready’s aim for the day was to showcase the power of local manufacturing in enabling health programs to be more effective. We showcased the work being done in Nepal – 3D printing spare parts for vital hospital equipment, as well as some more technically advanced projects.
However, it was the message regarding easy and low cost access to rare or unique spare parts that struck a chord with the highly field-experienced audience. After the talk, many shared their stories of times when they were failed by a piece of equipment in the field, or couldn’t reach as many people because a small part of something vital had broken.
The second was “Log Day” held by MSF-Canada in June. In this event, MSF showcases and explores the ways they carry out humanitarian logistics. With medical clinicians and sizeable staff of logisticians (“loggies”), it is important for them to get together when they are not busy working in remote and often dangerous parts of the world.
Just at the conference in Delhi, our aim in presenting at the logistics conference was to showcase our approach in the area of health. After a brief presentation, we discussed ways to transform logistical chains and improve how aid is provided. Willow Brugh of AspirationTech.org attended and had this to say about us:
“I am excited about this group [Field Ready] because they are training up locals on the equipment, increasing technical capacity in-region. They are working to keep international aid money local, as well as strengthening those production ties to the international response scene. And they are honest about their abilities and intentions.”