October 31, 2018    Follow us on Twitter   View our videos on YouTube
The Importance of Breakthrough Technologies in Addressing the SDGs 
A Cuffless Optical BP Measurement Integrated with Antenatal Decision-Support and Client Tracking from Saving Lives at Birth Round 8 Nominee Ona Kenya Limited/World Health Organization.
Photo: Saving Lives at Birth 
The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are a blueprint for building a better, more sustainable future for communities across the world. Many experts agree that meeting the requirements of SDG #3 ---   Ensure Healthy Lives & Wellbeing for All ---   relies on the development and delivery of "tomorrow's tools": technologies that will have both health and economic development impact.  

While findings from a recent study by a team of researchers at Duke University reflect significant progress in global health in recent years, innovations in health that have not yet been developed are critical to overcome entrenched obstacles in access to and quality of healthcare that will allow countries to reach the SDGs. As solutions are developed, innovators will continue to face challenges such as a decline in funding and investment in research and development.

Five Case Studies on Maternal Health Innovations in Africa 
Barber Abdulaziz Lawn hands Abubakar Nafisatu to his mother, Nafisatu Bilyaminu, after shaving the newborn's head and asking his mother if he had been immunized. Photo: Karen Kasmauski/MCSP

In an op-ed for STAT, Dr. Koki Agarwal, Director of USAID's Maternal and Child Survival Program, outlines five examples that speak to achievements made in MNCH innovations throughout the continent of Africa. Agarwal argues that, while certain innovations embody the idea of "high-tech inventions," many others speak instead to ways in which everyday practices can be transformed into life-saving revolutions.

Disrupting the status quo is about finding new and better approaches to increase access and improve quality of care. Focusing on increased access to prenatal care and new applications for antibiotics such as chlorhexidine (used to prevent umbilical cord infection), proper maternity training for nurses and midwives, and investment in reproductive health programs for the health and wellness of new mothers. The U.S. Agency for International Development's Maternal and Child Survival Program currently operates in 27 countries worldwide.

A New Resuscitation Device to Help Reduce Neonatal Mortality 
Augmented Infant Resuscitator (AIR) add-on device helps caregivers effectively resuscitate asphyxiated newborn babies. Photo: Cision PR Newswire 

Leading health technology company Philips ---  in collaboration with the Consortium for Affordable Medical Technologies (CAMTech) at Massachusetts General Hospital Global Health ---  has announced the development of an innovative resuscitation device designed to help reduce neonatal mortality by empowering health workers with this life-saving skill. The Philips Augmented Infant Resuscitator (AIR) is an add-on for conventional neonatal bag-valve-mask (BVM) resuscitators that provides real time feedback to help caregivers effectively resuscitate asphyxiated newborns. Though AIR has the potential for use worldwide, initial efforts focus primarily on serving parts of the world where access to quality healthcare is limited. The device was co-developed by researchers at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), CAMTech at Massachusetts General Hospital and Mbarara University of Science and Technology in Uganda and funded by Saving Lives at Birth.
"At Philips, we aim to improve people's health through meaningful innovations," says Arman Voskerchyan, Business Leader for Therapeutic Care at Philips. "Our mission is to improve the lives of three billion people a year by 2025. By combining our expertise in respiratory care and resuscitation with the strengths of global health innovators like the AIR team at CAMTech, we aim to drive and scale innovative solutions that bridge societal divides in healthcare to reach underserved populations, and thereby addressing the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal 3." 

30 Pioneering African Innovators Making Waves in 2018 
Photo illustration: QZ.com

Every year, Quartz spotlights some of the most ambitious and imaginative minds across the African continent in a series called Quartz Africa Innovators. In 2018, Quartz selected 30 innovators working across a wide variety of spaces such as art, science, entrepreneurship, technology, social welfare and more. All share one common thread ---  a driving interest in making a lasting, positive impact in their communities and countries.

Quartz Africa Innovators seeks to defy the notion that "innovation" is all about technology or new gadgets and are challenging social norms and shaping expectations for the future of the continent. Featured innovators include: Charles Rotimi (Doctor, Founder of H3Africa in Nigeria), Brian Gitta (Co-founder and CEO of Uganda's Matibubu) and Egypt-based archeologist Nora Shawki among many others. Quartz is also highlighting a collection of essays and ideas focusing on the importance of innovation across Africa, such as this piece written by Efosa Ojomo of the Clayton Christensen Institute for Disruptive Innovation.

Click here to take a closer look at this year's featured innovators, all of whom play a key role in the development of solutions that point to a better future for Africa. 
USAID's Efforts in Advancing Primary Healthcare 
The U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) and its partners view access to primary health care as a critical factor in the development of strong families, stable communities, and productive nations. At the Alma Alta Global Conference on Primary Health Care (October 25-26 in Astana, Kazakhstan), USAID highlighted the successes and built momentum for further progress in the global health sphere.

Take a look at some of USAID's most prominent achievements in primary health care to date: 

Strong and sustainable primary health care systems act as a safeguard to national health and security while building resilience against public health threats, infectious disease outbreaks and other related events. Encouraging universal access to primary health care worldwide relies not just upon public systems, but rather a mix of public, private and community-based systems. During the Global Conference on Primary Health Care, USAID launched the report, "30 Years of the Child Survival and Health Grants Program: Saving Lives and Building Systems with Communities". The report ---  sharing evidence for how investments in primary health care systems pave the way for countries to build healthy families, stable communities, productive economies and promote self-reliance ---  is available to download here
We invite you to help spread the word and share the successes, goals and approaches that define USAID's efforts to increase access to primary health care by using the USAID Playbook for Advancing Primary Health Care
Click here to learn more about the Global Conference on Primary Health Care.
SL@B Round 7 Innovator Awards: Get to Know the Nominees   
PATH/Massachusetts General Hospital  

The Saving Lives at Birth (SL@B) Partners nominated 15 finalists for awards from over 550 applications for the 2017 Saving Lives at Birth Grand Challenge. Among the Round 7 nominees is a project by PATH and Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH). Together, PATH/MGH is working to expand access to continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) therapy for newborns and has developed (and piloted) a newborn respiratory package consisting of a low-cost bubble CPAP (bCPAP) device, oxygen blender, nasal prongs and pulse oximeter, and training materials. With SL@B support, the teams will conduct feasibility studies in India, Kenya, and Uganda.

In This Issue