Health | The Philippines and China | Pilot
- The development problem. Globally 2.5 million babies die in their first week of life each year due to neonatal infection. Nearly one-third of all newborn deaths can be attributed to infection in the neonatal period, primarily pneumonia and sepsis.
- The innovation. Low blood oxygen is an early indicator of infection. The Newborn Foundation in collaboration with global medical technology company Masimo has developed a low-cost pulse oximeter to measure blood oxygen levels in newborns. This technology costs about $1 per child screened and has the potential to detect sepsis, pneumonia, and congenital heart defects earlier than standard practice. It is estimated that earlier detection can reduce mortality by 25-30%.
- GIF’s investment. A grant of £155,000 will fund the completion of a pilot study of pulse oximetry in China and the Philippines. This pilot includes the screening of 93,000 newborns, and analysis of the screening results to determine whether pulse oximetry is a cost effective way to save lives at birth.
- Why we invested.
- Commitment to evaluation. The Newborn Foundation is committed to evaluating whether pulse oximetry screening really is a cost effective way to save lives at birth in countries like the Philippines and China.
- Track record of public sector scaling - The Newborn Foundation has already successfully worked to make pulse oximetry screening for newborns standard practice in the U.S. They are collaborating closely with public hospitals in China and the Philippines, and developing strong relationships with key public health policy makers to scale up pulse oximetry if the results of the pilot study are positive.