Breath of Life
Targeted Solutions for Complex Problems
Problem: Lack of Investment
While global under-five child
mortality rates have been decreasing in recent decades, the rate of
neonatal mortality has been on the rise. Annually, 38% of all child
deaths occur in the first four weeks of life, the crucial neonatal
period. Yet typically, newborn care is the branch of medicine with the
least investment, research and innovation.
Breath of Life Response: Directed Resources
Breath of Life concentrates its
resources on designing and distributing equipment solely for the
critical newborn period, because by supplying the basic package of
equipment and providing first-rate training for the medical personnel
who will use it, many lives can be saved.
Problem: Inappropriate Solutions
introduced in developing countries often fail because the machines
provided are not customized to the specific local conditions or
low-resource settings where they
are to be used. Expensive donated equipment sits unused in hospitals
and clinics for a variety of reasons: controls and instructions are in
a language the local staff cannot read; replacement parts are
unavailable or unaffordable; health care workers lack crucial training.
Breath of Life Response: Targeted Technology
BOL distributes equipment
designed and produced by EMW technical partner MTTS (Medical Technology
Transfer Services), which conducts its research and development in the
field. Machines based on globally developed designs are tweaked for
local conditions, tested in real clinics and hospitals, then tweaked
some more. Local manufacture means manuals and controls in local
languages and easy access to parts and technical support. BOL machines
are durable, easy to use, and don't use expensive consumables— ensures
maximum long-term sustainability.
Problem: Gaps in Access
Ninety-nine percent of all newborn deaths occur in developing countries
and, within those countries, the poor in rural settings experience the
worst outcomes. The best medical facilities and trained staff are
usually concentrated in urban settings (Vietnam) and capital cities
(Laos, Cambodia, East Timor). More remote settings rarely have even
basic treatment or trained staff available; therefore, the highly risky
transfer of fragile infants to better equipped regional hospitals has
been, until now, the only option.
Breath of Life Response: Building Capacity
The Breath of Life program aims is to equip and empower medical
institutions at all levels to provide appropriate, responsive newborn
care, from national hospitals to regional facilities to rural clinics.
The working strategy starts with the provision of equipment and
training at the highest, most centralized level, then expanding out to
train staff and supply facilities in more remote areas.
For more information
Breath of Life
1-800-561-3378 or 510-763-7045