Swiss and African Physicians and engineers at the bedside of newborns
15.12.14 - Engineers present the GlobalNeonat project to pediatricians at a congress gathering 380 physicians from 20 African countries. Dialogue between engineers and physicians is fundamental for the development of appropriate technologies for the local context, following the EssentialTech approach.
The GlobalNeonat project aims at bringing an efficient care solution for premature newborns in district hospitals of countries in the Global South, through the development of an appropriate and affordable infant incubator for the local context. This context of district hospitals is indeed specific, since they do not face the same issues as reference centers such as central or teaching hospitals, particularly regarding access to electricity, hiring specifically trained staff, or maintenance. GlobalNeonat is thus a large-scope project involving medical doctors, engineers and the private sector in Africa and Switzerland, to take into account all the aspects of the problem.
It is within this multidisciplinary framework that the project was presented at the end of November to the audience of the 13th panafrican congress of pediatrics of the CPA-UNAPSA. It allowed an enriching and constructive dialogue between the needs, practice and difficulties of physicians, and ideas and possibilities of engineers, so that the best possible adequacy between these two worlds could happen. Attending pediatricians could testify to the growing importance of prematurity issues for newborns, and to the troubles in the care of these newborns. The specifications and features of an appropriate infant incubator could thus be better defined in order to deliver an affordable, efficient and durable solution.