Sterilization of Medical Equipment in a Third World Country : A Minor Field Study in Linga Linga, Mozambique
Sammanfattning: The non-profit organization Project Vita has recently built a maternity clinic in Linga Linga, where the medical instruments to be sterilized are boiled in water for an hour. The fuel needed to boil the water is wood, which is a scarce resource. This is why, according to the healthcare worker that was interviewed in Mozambique, it is desirable to have an electric-powered solution to sterilise the medical instruments. After research on the different sterilization techniques that exist, the conclusion was drawn that the safest way to sterilise is by the use of an autoclave. However, it would be difficult to implement and maintain an autoclave in Linga Linga. Therefore, it was proposed to build an autoclave using a pressure cooker. Through experimentation, different programs, times and pressures were tested to find out if a pressure cooker could sterilise a common object. It could be concluded that theoretically, it seems that the pressure cooker reached a temperature of over 121 degrees Celsius. However, the pressure could not be measured nor was a biological indicator, that could indicate if an autoclave or pressure cooker does sterile, used. This project was to be done in Mozambique, but because of COVID-19, a travel ban was set in motion and universities and laboratories had limited access, thus limiting the project. As a result, it is still unclear if a pressure cooker can be used to sterilize medical instruments.
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