In 2008, Seth conducted robust research in Africa to attempt to understand the challenges local organizations face while treating obstetric fistula. While performing his research, Seth traveled over 5,000 miles by public transport through Kenya, Rwanda, and Uganda, and consulted with industry leaders, reproductive health experts, community-based organizations and successful entrepreneurs across East Africa. Moved by his passion for creating solutions to social problems and taking advantage of his strong business background, Seth founded OperationOF to empower society’s most marginalized members to make motherhood safer. OperationOF engages fistula survivors in economic ventures by offering skills-based training and enrolling them in women’s economic development groups.
Andrés Martínez Fernández is improving the performance of rural healthcare systems in developing countries through creative, inexpensive telecommunication technologies and through new forms of engagement with medical professionals and university faculty. His model has proven successful in over 170 centers and outposts in Peru, Cuba, and Colombia, improving medical care for more than 150,000 people.
Loreto, Peru has some of the worst maternal morbidity and mortality rates in Latin America. Pregnant mothers do not often have access to prenatal checkups and suffer from hypertension, infections, and hemorrhages due to labor complications. The EHAS Foundation has installed a wireless telephone and internet communication network that connects 15 local health centers to the hospital in the region’s capital, Iquitos.
Seth Cochran will help improve the quality of maternal health care by connecting doctors in urban areas with remote clinics in the Loreto region of Peru. Specifically, Seth will help increase the capacity of remote health care delivery by providing webcams and long-distance stethoscope, microscope, and ultrasound technologies to doctors at a hospital in Iquitos, the capital of Loreto, to use to monitor pregnant women remotely. Through this program Seth will also improve the facilitation of urgent transfers from isolated areas to the hospital in Iquitos.
During the first half of his Young Champions placement, Seth will use EHAS Foundation’s facilities in Spain to research technologies to improve remote healthcare delivery in Peru. The second part of Seth’s placement will be spent implementing the work he researched in Spain. Some of the project’s goals include (1) the disappearance of “silent zones” in epidemiological surveillance in Loreto, Peru, (2) a 50% reduction in the sending time of epidemiological information, (3) monthly web-based consultations for local health establishments, (4) a 10% increase of institutional births, (5) a 20% reduction in emergency transfers, and (6) a 25% reduction in average transfer time for seriously ill patients.