Imagine having to forego needed surgery or having an emergency in which time is of the essence and being referred elsewhere because anesthesia is not available. In many developing countries, including Haiti, those scenarios are all too common.
The expense and complexity of anesthesia machines used in most operating rooms make them difficult to acquire, operate, and repair. And when those machines rely on electrical power, their use in nations such as Haiti, where the electrical grid is unreliable at best, can have catastrophic results.
The Universal Anesthesia Machine (UAM) was developed by the nonprofit Gradian Health Systems as an alternative. Featuring a built-in oxygen concentrator, key features on battery backup, and components that are easy to remove and replace, the UAM was specially designed for use in resource-poor contexts.
On November 8, a UAM worth $24,000 and consigned by Konbit Sante for Citizens of the World Foundation (CWF) arrived in Cap-Haitien for use at Serving Santé, a birthing center in Limbé. It will allow staff to perform emergency C-sections, saving women a trip to the reference hospital that is two hours away under the best conditions.
The UAM was requested by Dr. Nelly Osias, director of Serving Santé and an attending physician at Konbit Sante’s healthcare partner Justinien University Hospital. Her team is anxious to undergo training and start using the machine.
“It is joy, hope, and life,” Osias said. “One more step (and) we will be delivering babies and saving lives because of your efforts and will to help. We don’t have the exact words to express our gratefulness.”
This was the second UAM that we recently consigned for CWF; the first was delivered to Haitian Baptist Convention Hospital in October 2018. Once again, your continued support and donations make all this possible.
You can view a TED talk that explains how a UAM machine works here.