OCT 26, 2016 02:15 PM PDT

Bolivian women weave devices to repair children's heart defects


Aymara women at a laboratory in La Paz, Bolivia are using their traditional weaving skills to make small devices that can save children's lives. At 4,000 meters above sea level, many babies in La Paz are born with heart defects. Devices to fix such heart defects are typically made on an industrial machine, however because they are needed for newborns, the devices are too small to be machine made. This is where the women come in.

Weaving is an important part of Aymara tradition and the women train for four months in the laboratory to require the specific skills necessary to craft the delicate devices from nitinol metal. The device is capable of finding holes in the children's hearts and sealing them for an entire lifetime.

Forty women are capable of producing 250-300 devices per month and the company has already sold 7,000 devices to Latin America, Europe, and the Middle East. Cheap solutions like this are priceless in Bolivia, which is one of South America's poorest countries.
About the Author
  • Kathryn is a curious world-traveller interested in the intersection between nature, culture, history, and people. She has worked for environmental education non-profits and is a Spanish/English interpreter.
You May Also Like
NOV 20, 2018
Videos
NOV 20, 2018
Legal marijuana sales begin today in MA
Massachusetts opened its first dispensaries for legal recreational marijuana sales today. The companies, one called Cultivate Holdings in Leicester and ano...
NOV 23, 2018
Videos
NOV 23, 2018
Another Food Recall: Ground Turkey
The USDA announced that Jennie-O has recalled about 147,276 pounds of its ground raw turkey products....
NOV 23, 2018
Videos
NOV 23, 2018
Authorities Enlist DNA Experts to ID Camp Fire Victims
Paradise, California, a town of 26,682 residents, was destroyed by the Camp Fire earlier this month....
NOV 28, 2018
Videos
NOV 28, 2018
Nanorobots That can Move Through the Eye
Researchers want to create tiny drug delivery systems that can move through biological tissue....
DEC 06, 2018
Chemistry & Physics
DEC 06, 2018
Rare Uranium Compounds Capable of High-temperature Superconductivity at Near Normal Pressure
Uranium is often associated with nuclear fuel materials, but very soon they could be used to power a new wave of industrial revolution. Scientists from Rus...
DEC 08, 2018
Cardiology
DEC 08, 2018
Adaptations Of The Heart To Chronic Exercise
We have all heard that exercise is good for us, particularly for the heart, but many don’t understand precisely how regular, long-term activity affec...
Loading Comments...