After returning from our Marsabit service trip, we started our work at the Partners For Care House located in Nairobi. At the end of the week, we had three main accomplishments: sewing the first packs, a model to determine government health expenses and an analysis of the current health system. And, we set the goals for our third and final week of our GAP project.
During our second in-country week, the GAP team and Christine, a seamstress brought by PFC, were able to successfully sew the first five water packs ever manufactured in Kenya. The actual first pack is shown in Figure 1, along with Christine in the process of sewing the first pack.
Figure 1. First Water pack sewn in Kenya
The process started by analyzing the characteristics of the pack components along with the instructions received from the Greif manufacturing facility in Turkey in order to understand the process of assembling the pack. After the process was preliminarily designed, we had to overcome some challenges with finding the correct thread size at local stores in Nairobi and locally sourcing some parts that were missing from the kits shipped from Turkey. After overcoming these obstacles, with the assistance of Christine, the first pack was sewn on day two of working in Nairobi and confirmed the feasibility of our manufacturing process design.
After the second pack, we started timing the process in order to gather the data needed to understand and design an efficient procedure for setting up the micro-manufacturing facility in Kenya. This design will include multiple phases of implementation, determine total time required for each pack, break down the steps and design an assembly-line type of process to use in the manufacturing facility.
From the Turkish plant instructions Greif sent us and our own experience sewing the packs, we developed a simplified version of instructions we call “10 Step Manufacturing Instructions”. The instructions include easy-to-read diagrams with part numbers that will allow for simplified manufacturing training for PFC. A screenshot of one of the manufacturing instructions is shown in Figure 2.
Figure 2. Screenshot of steps 6 and 7 of manufacturing instructions
Second, we started developing a model to determine the Kenyan government’s expenditures on waterborne illnesses, gathering the information from the government health database diliminating by county and interviewing Dr. Dennis at PFC. We are also working to gather information from the website meds.or.ke to collect disease-specifc treatment costs of the waterborne illnesses in Kenya. The government expenditure information will help us define the market potential for Pack H20. This key information will be used to sell the pack directly to government agencies, describing how the correct use of the water packs has the potential to reduce prevalence of waterborne illness among Kenyans and as a result reduce government expenditures to treat waterborne diseases.
Finally, using the “Kenya Health Policy 2012-2030” report, we summarized the changes to the Kenyan health system following the devolution of the national government, which gave more power to the county governments. The information gathered depicts the distribution of power within the four tiers of the healthcare system and highlights opportunities for Pack H2O in the future.
For our final week of the project, we plan to finalize the model for government health expenditures, summarize what has PFC done to sell the pack to this point, design a micro-manufacturing facility and finalize our deliverable to the client.