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Ukraine using Revital-made bCPAP device to save premature babies

Premature babies in Ukraine with breathing difficulties are being saved by a device made in Kenya. The bCPAP device, produced by Africa’s largest medical manufacturer – Revital Healthcare. The conflict in Ukraine has led to the destruction of many hospitals and health facilities, and those that remain functioning have an unreliable power supply, which can cause life-saving machines to fail.

The bCPAP device, also known as a bubble Continuous Positive Airway Pressure system, is helping to save the lives of premature babies who would have been placed in incubators had reliable power been available. Medical professionals at the Jaramogi Oginga Odinga Teaching and Referral Hospital in Kisumu, Kenya, have confirmed the effectiveness of the bCPAP in relieving respiratory distress in babies.

Currently, we have seen that there are babies who improve very well when we initiate CPAP,

Daisy Okech,
Nurse at Jaramogi Oginga Odinga Teaching and Referral Hospital in Kisumu, Kenya

The bubble CPAP is a medical device that delivers pressurized oxygen, quickly relieving newborns struggling to breathe. This non-invasive approach has been praised by medical professionals for supplying pure oxygen to babies and preventing damage to the lungs and brain. The World Health Organization has reported that 17 out of 25 perinatal centers in Ukraine are currently using the bubble CPAP to save premature babies’ lives. The device will soon be produced on a larger scale, as Revital Healthcare, and the U.S.-based Vayu Global Health Foundation have partnered to manufacture the CPAPs. 

Once you have continuous 100% oxygen flowing in the blender, which is where the magic of the entire device is and is, literally, where the magic happens, it’s able to pull ambient air from the outside as well. You can adjust the oxygen concentration between 30-100 before delivery to the baby. The blended air can be filtered, humidified, breathed in by the patient and breathed out. There is also a pressure generator jar which controls the pressure and keeps the baby’s lungs open.

Krupali Shah,
Technical Director & Lead for Vayu bCPAP project at Revital Healthcare

 

The inventor of the device, American doctor Thomas Burke, believes that investing in the health of vulnerable newborns is essential in reducing infant mortality.

People actually have to make budget commitments, and it means that health systems have to prioritize babies. I found in my 2 1/2 decades of work on maternal health that there is sometimes a lot of talk around saving mothers’ lives, but at the end of the day people aren’t willing to put finance behind saving mothers’ lives.

Thomas Burke,
bCPAP Inventor, Vayu Global Health Foundation

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