The low-cost device saving newborns in India
Farzana Qureshi’s happiness over a smooth and uncomplicated pregnancy ended abruptly the day she went into labour. Tired by the end of eight hours of contractions, the 30-year-old was unable to push out her baby, whose umbilical cord was wrapped around its neck.
When the baby emerged, he was limp and bluish, and did not cry for 15 minutes. “For a while I was scared that something may go wrong with my child because of my lack of effort,” Qureshi says.
Doctors at the Indian government-run hospital gave the baby immediate resuscitation and advised admission to a neonatal intensive care unit (NICU), which, unfortunately, was at a public district hospital 37 miles away from Maheshwar, Qureshi’s hometown. Unsure of the infrastructure and availability of neonatal care equipment, her family rushed the baby to the nearest private hospital instead, which took them three hours to reach.
They were not to know, but their decision would be critical for their young son, Mudassir, who was diagnosed immediately with moderate birth asphyxia. The Seva and Samarpan (SNS) neonatal hospital in Indore is one of the few hospitals in the country to have a piece of equipment that can administer therapeutic hypothermia – the treatment for birth asphyxia – a MiraCradle.
Photo courtesy of Keoni Cabral.