Revital Healthcare (EPZ) Limited becomes the world’s first manufacturer of a respiratory device that supports neonates and infants with breathing problems without the need for electricity.
The Kilifi County-based firm has once again put Kenya on the global map with this latest respiratory facility.
The Vayu Bubble Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (bCPAP) system provides blended oxygen to infants without the use of electricity.
It is considerably cheaper, portable, has components that are re-usable after sterilization, and could be used at any hospital in any part of the country, compared to the normal CPAP systems in the market.
Already, the firm has shipped 120 units to Ukraine as a donation to the troubled country in conjunction with UNITAD.
Speaking while unveiling the respirator kit, Revital Healthcare Vayu bCPAP project officer Ms. Krupali Shah said newborn babies were the world’s most vulnerable population, among these are premature babies with underdeveloped lungs or acute respiratory illnesses.
Shah said such babies may need to be placed in incubators where there may or may not be controlled the oxygen provided to them, which may lead to various other conditions like blindness, lung damage, brain damage or even death.
According to the World Health Organization, respiratory distress is a leading cause of global child mortality, with nearly 1.1 million neonates dying annually because of preterm birth complications in South Asia and sub-Saharan Africa.
County Health Executive Charles Dadu disclosed that over 1,000 cases of neonatal complications are recorded in the 120 functional delivery rooms annually.
“Out of these, 40 per cent (about 400) die out of the complications and the Vayu bCPAP system will help reduce the mortality rate,” said Dadu.
The health executive said after the adoption of the respiratory kit in the hospitals, 10 babies’ lives were saved.
Speaking during the ceremony, Maternal and Child Health Ambassador Dorothy Nyong’o, the Kisumu county First Lady, said in Kenya, two out of 10 children who present difficulty in breathing will die because of lack of adequate equipment to save their lives.
Mrs. Nyong’o said Kisumu County has only five Vayu Bubble Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (bCPAP) machines which were concentrated at the Jaramogi Oginga Odinga Teaching Referral Hospital.
Revital Healthcare has partnered with US firm Vayu Global Health Innovations to manufacture the devices locally and help reduce child mortality in local Kenyan hospitals.
Already, the devices are in use at the Kenyatta National Hospital, Coast General Teaching and Referral Hospital and Kilifi county referral hospital, in Kenya, the Muhimbili National Hospital in Tanzania and over 15 other countries globally.
CPAP systems exist in the market already but these use electricity thus limiting use to specific hospitals and are expensive, with one costing at least $1,500 (approximately Sh175, 000). KNA