A baby dies in Ghana once every 15 minutes, according to UNICEF. That’s approximately 29,000 newborn deaths each year. Many of these are due to breathing difficulties.
Annually in Ghana, around 140,000 babies are born. Out of these, 14% are born prematurely.
Northeastern University’s doctoral candidate Solomon Mensah co-founded Therapeutic Innovations in the year 2014. He was shocked that a baby dies in Ghana every 15 minutes due to a lack of medical help. His goal was to build cheaper, easier-to-use medical breathing devices for developing countries.
Mensah believed that developing countries lack medical equipment to treat premature babies. One of the primary reasons for it is that the equipments are expensive.
His company has since built a prototype, called the Airbaby. This device features a face-mask that delivers a combination of air and oxygen to help the baby breathe.
The vast majority of these deaths occur in the first five years of the life of a child. The reason behind this is:
However it is not all bad news. As shocking and sad this may sound, there are some ways through which premature deaths can be avoided, which are:
Since 2017, the number of children dying under five has fallen dramatically from 12.6 million in 1990 to 5.4 million.
WHO is working in Africa with ministries of health to strengthen and put resources into health care. Specially, around the hour of birth of newborns. It is also providing technical support to developing countries, and trends and improving global health security.
– Manavi Pandey