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

Technological 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

Luciano Moccia
Breath of Life
International Coordinator

1-800-561-3378 or 510-763-7045



Breath of Life’s successful strategies for treating preterm infants are highlighted in the recent WHO publication, Born Too Soon.
Read about Breath of Life here.

Read the full report here.

helps reduce infant mortality by providing a hospital with a phototherapy machine to treat babies with jaundice. 

Find out more about the neonatal equipment provided by the Breath of Life program.

East Meets West

1611 Telegraph Ave., Suite 1420, Oakland, CA 94612
Tel: 1-800.561.3378  |  Tel: 510-763-7045  |  Fax: 510-763-6545

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