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Innovatie in de gezondheidszorg in het mondiale Zuiden

DHAKA – Er sterven nog elke dag kinderen aan te voorkomen en behandelbare aandoeningen zoals diarree en longontsteking, waarbij de ontwikkelingswereld het overgrote deel van de slachtoffers voor zijn rekening neemt. De noodzaak om innovatieve en kosteneffectieve oplossingen te ontwikkelen die kunnen worden afgeleverd in omstandigheden met schaarse middelen is overduidelijk.

Neem bijvoorbeeld longontsteking, jaarlijks verantwoordelijk voor 15% van alle sterfgevallen – gelijk aan bijna één miljoen - bij kinderen onder de vijf jaar oud. Een sleutelcomponent van de behandeling van gehospitaliseerde kinderen met ernstige longontsteking is ‘Continuous Positive Airway Pressure’ (oftewel CPAP; ‘voortdurend positieve druk in de luchtwegen’) waarbij een compressor zuurstof aan patiënt toedient en daarmee een continue luchtstroom tijdens het behandelingsproces garandeert.

In de geïndustrialiseerde wereld bieden mechanische ventilatoren CPAP-luchtwegondersteuning. Maar voor de zorgsystemen in ontwikkelingslanden zijn mechanische ventilatoren veel te duur, wat miljoenen patiënten in grote delen van het mondiale Zuiden zonder toegang tot levensreddende CPAP laat.

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