The Kahawa Declaration:

A Manifesto for the Democratization of Medical Technology

Joint Declaration of the UBORA and ABEC partners

Presented and signed at Kenyatta University, December 2017



Most medical technology is passively employed and accepted by patients, doctors and engineers who have little or no say in its design or usability. In addition, patients are not involved in the development of medical technology, which is undertaken behind closed doors and whose global impact is hindered by proprietary know-how and by costs. This has so far impeded equitable healthcare as most of the world does not have access to the technology or healthcare coverage. Indeed, the benefits of quality medical technology today are only enjoyed by 20% of the world’s wealthier population. Understanding the relevance of international partnerships for achieving the Sustainable Development Goals, feeling specially committed with the promotion of the Goal on “Good Health and Well-Being” and convinced about the role that open-source biomedical engineering approaches may play in the future of medical technology, we commit ourselves, according to the objectives and actions explained in present Declaration, to enlighten the transformation of the biomedical engineering field, towards the democratization of medical technology, as a key for achieving universal equitable health care.


Full text of the declaration

Published version on Global Health Innovation

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