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article imageThe Bambulance Goes Where the Ambulance Fears to Tread

By M Dee Dubroff     Aug 15, 2009 in Health
The most prestigious European design prize is the Danish Index Award. The Bambulance is a finalist for this year's purse for creatively demonstrating the concept, "Design to Improve Life." Read all about this fascinating human transport gurney.
The Index Award has the largest purse and the most prestige attached to it than any other design prize offered in Europe. According to news sources, the Danish government shells out 500,000 Euros each year to the winning designers who have creatively demonstrated the concept of a “Design to Improve Life.” One of this year's finalists is the Bambulance, a human (or animal)-propelled gurney meant to transfer the sick or injured across rural terrain.
First created in 2007, the Bambulance is made mostly of bamboo poles, which immediately sets it apart from any other transport for the sick and/or injured known to modern man. It is made by hand with locally gown materials and can be pulled by a donkey or by a person on foot or on a bicycle. (In rugged terrain, these versatile options can mean the difference between life and death.)
Currently produced in Nairobi, Kenya, by two organizations, the Bambulance represents a wonderful attempt to help humanity on several fronts at once. One of the organizations employs widows affected by AIDS and the other embraces at-risk slum youth.
In the words of Vancouver designer, Niki Dun of the Design for Development Society:
“The Bambulance is locally manufactured and distributed and seeks to develop skills and provide economic opportunities within the communities it serves.”
The Bambulance's other three designers, Philippa Mennell and Chris Ryan of Canada, and Philippe Schlesser of Luxembourg are all hoping their creation will win the highly coveted purse.
The winner of the Index prize will be announced at the end of August.
Here’s to a noble idea whose time has time.
(Clink of glass)
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