Guatemala X-ray Project

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Diagnostic Imaging for the Developing World
Donating expensive equipment to third world countries can be fraught with unwanted results.  Donations may end up in the wrong hands, unused, or misused.  This is a common occurrence that discourages donors.  A potential solution is partnering with recipients.
The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that 2/3 of the world population lacks appropriate image diagnostic services.  More than four billion people, mostly economically marginalized, do not have access near their homes to basic x-ray systems.
Highly trained operators and radiologists rarely work in remote areas preferring instead cities with large populations and substantial health care facilities.  Remote clinics do not have facilities to house and power sophisticated x-ray systems.  Many donated systems end up underutilized, fallen in disrepair, or stolen.
WHO helped develop a simple and relatively inexpensive x-ray system that can be operated by a high school graduate with two weeks of training.  A current version allows for remote viewing of images via the Internet.  This digital system requires little maintenance because gone are the developing labs required by ‘wet’ radiology.
However, without the participation and commitment of local authorities there would be no guarantees of the system operation.  Electrical power may need to be upgraded and conditioned to be constant and without spikes.  The x-ray room requires certain minimum standards for safe operation that may need to be built.  Operators need to be trained, hired and their salaries included in the health center’s budget.  Provisions must be made to safeguard the system and provide for its maintenance.
A system as described is operating since December 2010 in the Municipality Clinic of Guatemala City serving employees and children of the street. 
Twenty nine (29) more systems that will send images to regional hospitals for evaluation and diagnostic are planned for clinics throughout Guatemala.  These systems will be installed in cooperation with the ministries of Health and of Energy; with the endorsement of the President of Guatemala, and the assistance of the Pan American Health Organization, part of the WHO network, which will train the operators in Guatemala.
Funding for this project is sought from Rotarians, The Rotary Foundation, private foundations and agencies of international aid of foreign governments and the US. 
District 4250 (Guatemala, Honduras and Belize) and District 6440 (Northern Illinois) initiated this effort.  The intention is to demonstrate the feasibility of this project and later duplicate it in other areas of the world. 
This project is based on a Memorandum of Understanding to be signed May 14, 2013 in Guatemala between:
  • The Ministry of Public Health and Social Welfare of Guatemala
  • The Ministry of Energy and Mines of Guatemala
  • The Office of the First Lady of Guatemala
  • The Pan American Health Organization
  • The Civil Association of Image Diagnostics and Radiant Therapy of Guatemala
  • Rotary District 4250 (Guatemala, Honduras, Belize)
  • Rotary District 6440 (Northern Illinois)
Additional contributors will be invited to add their representative’s signatures to the Memorandum of Understanding.  For further information contact PDG Pam Kerr,
This project will have far reaching significance beyond its 29 systems.  It will demonstrate that a partnership of Rotary with other NGOs and government institutions can solve a major problem afflicting billons.  Please join us in setting a precedent for a better world!  Your contribution is an endorsement of this prototype!