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War-torn Areas get Medical Devices Thanks to 3D Printing

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Published on : Sep 18, 2015

A Canadian Palestinian doctor has made it his mission to solve the problem of medical supply shortage in the war torn Gaza Strip. He has created a low cost stethoscope with the help of a 3D printer and this is only the first in an entire series of innovations that he hopes will bring an end to the shortages caused by the eight year blockade in the region.

Dr Tarek Loubani has said that the 3D printed stethoscope costs just US$ 2.50 to make, which is just a fraction of the amount of money it costs to make the medical device by leading brands. He also said that some doctors have admitted this equipment is just as good as the branded ones. 

Loubani, who is an emergency medicine doctor from London in Ontario, Canada, said that the dearth of basic medical supplies in the Palestinian region is a huge problem, which he and his team are trying to turn into a big win for those of them in Gaza. Loubani’s Glia Project hopes to provide medical aid and supplies to the war torn regions like Gaza. 

The Hamas militant group took over the Strip back in 2007 and Egypt and Israel imposed a blockade on the region. Ever since then, hospitals in Gaza have been grappling with shortages of basic supplies and medicines. The import of supplies like IV bags and medical consumables has been immensely restricted after 2007.

This crisis seems to have worsened after a harsh political rift among rival Palestinian groups, three wars with Israel, and inability of international donors to fulfill their promises of money.

Loubani hopes that by producing these medical devices domestically will not only meet the local needs but also ensure to a certain level that they are not entirely reliant on the donor community and the political fluctuations of the Israelis. 

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