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Health-Care Innovation in the Global South

Children die from preventable and treatable conditions like diarrhea and pneumonia every day, with the vast majority of sufferers living in the developing world. But it is also often those living and working in these resource-poor settings who are among the best equipped to develop and test cost-effective health solutions.

DHAKA – Children die from preventable and treatable conditions like diarrhea and pneumonia every day, with the developing world accounting for the majority of victims. The need to produce innovative and cost-effective solutions that can be delivered in resource-deprived settings could not be more apparent.

Consider pneumonia, which accounts for 15% of all deaths of children under five years old – nearly a million children – each year. A key component of the treatment of hospitalized children with severe pneumonia is “bubble CPAP” (continuous positive airway pressure), in which a compressor delivers oxygen to the patient, ensuring a continuous flow of air during the treatment process.

In the developed world, mechanical ventilators provide the respiratory support of bubble CPAP. But mechanical ventilators are far too expensive for developing-country health systems, leaving millions of patients in much of the Global South without access to life-saving bubble CPAP.

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