Infant Warmer | Embrace Innovations | 2010
Product & System Design
20 million premature and low-birth-weight babies are born every year; 80% of these births take place in rural areas of developing countries. Due to a lack of resources, 4 million of these babies die, and many of those that do survive grow up with life-long health problems. Many of these deaths and illnesses are caused by hypothermia, and can be prevented with an incubator. Traditional incubators, however, cost between 10,000$ – 25,000$, and are available only in urban hospitals. Most rural parents do not have the resources to get their babies to major hospitals. This clearly shows the need for a low cost Infant warmer for rural areas to increase the quality of family life by reducing morbidity and mortality.
Rajesh arrived at the local clinic of their village with his wife Sheila for her delivery. The baby was born below 2.5kgs and was considered Low Birth Weight therefore it could not maintain its body temperature at 37 degrees Celsius which lead to lips turning blue, hands and feet turn cold, becoming less responsive and not breast feeding which were warnings of Hypothermia. The doctor advised them to take the baby to an urban hospital to be placed in an incubator. But they could not reach the hospital, which was over 6 hours way, in time. As a result, the baby died. There are similar stories with such cases stating the problem of availability of recourses and facilities for neonatal care in rural areas. Hence, the current situation where product intervention is needed is at the prescription stage for the use of a low cost warmer in the first one month to 45 days period for a new born baby which is also called the Saur/ Confinement period to gain weight and overcome hypothermia.