Sep 29, 2018 | Latest News

NICU Access and Empowerment in Africa Survey Results

While newborns and their parents around the world rely on NICUs for care at the most critical moments, there is an enormous disparity in access to supplies that make quality care possible. Each year an estimated 300,000 African babies die during labor and an additional 1.1 million within the first four weeks of life according to the World Health Organization.

From the basic challenges of providing respiratory assistance to neonatal jaundice and temperature monitoring, medical professionals caring for newborns in developing countries face a unique set of challenges when providing care. Whether it’s prohibitively expensive devices, the ability to maintain the devices they currently have or receiving appropriate training.

In a recent survey of 475 medical professionals in Africa, VIA’s Market Insights team found that

  • 59% of medical professionals had little to no access to the supplies necessary to monitor newborn vital signs
  • Only 15% of respondents said they had full or complete access to basic neonatal monitoring devices
  • In public hospitals across Africa, the barriers to care were significantly higher, with 82% of respondents unable to afford basic NICU equipment
  • 71% do not have adequate access to the necessary training to use the equipment
  • 57% cannot afford or do not have the ability to maintain the equipment they have

Over the last three years, VIA Global Health has strived to change that, to the tune of more than 100,000 new babies and mothers impacted in the last year by empowering medical professionals and local distributors with access to quality and affordable medical devices and supplies along with the parts and training required to maintain and use them appropriately.

Sustainable NICUs are built over time by passionate professionals. Beyond talented personnel, we have found the key to sustainability in these facilities is a combination of both access and embracing market mechanisms, thus ensuring continued operations in challenging settings and with limited budgets. To do this VIA empowers local medical distributors, with quick and affordable purchasing platform, ongoing technical training and manufacturer warranty support, and most importantly by building a community of talented innovators and trusted manufacturers who are designing products for low resource settings.

From Accra to Chennai, Windhoek to Addis Abba, VIA Global Health has integrated with local supply chains and connected them to the innovators and manufacturers in a cost-efficient manner reducing barriers to access and improving patient care. VIA Global Health certainly hasn’t solved the problem of health access, but we believe that together, with our local and international partners, we have built a sustainable and scalable future that empowers the medical professionals who care for the 6 billion patients in the developing world.

This VIA Global Health survey of medical professionals in emerging markets took place during August and September 2018 and was administered by our Market Insights team. To enquire about additional insights from this survey or to learn more about our services please visit VIA’s Market Insights page.

VIA Global Health is reinventing the global healthcare supply chain with a vision to scale health innovation to the 6 billion people living in emerging economies. Leveraging our e-commerce and logistics platform, VIA connects global healthcare equipment suppliers to a network of verified local distributors – with a mission to create universal access to the tools that enable quality healthcare. For media inquiries please email [email protected]

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