What is a Zambulance?
The Zambulance is an affordable transport option for remote areas in developing countries.
In several developing countries, people die from treatable diseases simply because they cannot reach health centers when they need it most. Bicycle ambulances are a proven solution to this transport barrier in remote areas where current methods of transport are insufficient in speed, safety, cost, or availability. Since July 2005, Jessica Vechakul has been collaborating with Disacare Wheelchair Center in Lusaka to develop the Zambulance, a bicycle ambulance that can be locally produced from common steel and bicycle components.
The Zambian Ministry of Health and the WHO have ordered over 50 Zambulances for health centers all over Zambia. Independent home-based care and hospice programs have also orderedZambulances. Within one month, over 50 patients were transport between home and health centers by a single Zambulance. Given the versatility of the Zambulances for people of all ages and health conditions, it has the potential to be a live-saving technology worldwide.
The following programs and classes at MIT have helped to shape Jessica's path in Develepment:
D-lab is a series of undergraduate courses offered at MIT to teach students about development.
University to University (U2U) is a partnership that allows students from MIT, Harvard, and the University of Zambia to work together on development projects.
IDEAS is a design competition that encourages innovative projects that make a positive impact on the world. Jessica's team won an IDEAS prize in 2005 with the bicilavadora, or pedal-powered washing machine.
MIT's Public Service Center (PSC) provides support and opportunities for MIT students to do community service.