Jugaad Innovations for Rural Surgery


Jugaad Innovation is described as frugal and flexible innovations. It is very important for rural surgeons to learn the Jugaad techniques as they would help them to serve the rural surgical patients better. It is important for rural surgeons to multitask and they should also have sufficient engineering knowledge to be service engineers. It will not only prevent them from being cheated but would also help in preventive maintenance of various equipment. In this article, we describe the various Jugaad Innovations that we have used over the years for minimally invasive and rural surgeries.


This is true especially in rural India. In one of the mission hospitals in Assam Dr. Quentin D. Kenoyer worked in the fifties and sixties when there were no effective medicines for tuberculosis. There were so many tuberculosis patients that the hospital needed a TB sanatorium. Abdominal tuberculosis was common and so were GI malignancies. Hence, he used the proctoscope to take biopsies from the abdomen instead of using a regular laparotomy for biopsies because of the morbidity of laparotomy. When patients had severe haemoptysis Dr. Kenoyer used Table tennis balls to collapse the lung to stop the bleed.


A variety of innovations are found in most of the rural hospitals. The following are some of them [1]

  1. Use of industrial oxygen instead of medical oxygen and this greatly reduces the cost and is easily available and there is only a marginal insignificant reduction in purity
  2. The car head lamps give very powerful light and the only drawback is the heat it generates and fans are used to drive it outside
  3. Local designs for water softening and heating with firewood for hot water are cost effective options for rural hospitals
  4. Manual suctions are necessary

Figure 1: Locally designed water softener


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This entry was posted in Primary Care, Primary Care Featured 2, Surgery and tagged , , . Volume: .

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