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Bubble nose device saves premature babies in war-torn Ukraine

Unitaid, a global health organization, said the devices it provided for use in hospitals in war-torn Ukraine were killing many premature babies. says that it saves

It is difficult to accurately count the number of premature babies that have died since Russia invaded Ukraine on 24 February. Many hospitals were damaged or destroyed, supply chains were disrupted and thousands of newborns died. High risk of disability and death from oxygen deprivation and other essential treatments.

According to Unitaid, premature death rates in some hospitals have increased from 12% before the war to 40% today, making respiratory equipment more important than ever. It is rising.

Through her partner Vayu Global Health, Unitaid is providing 220 foam nasal devices and her 125 oxygen blender systems, according to Unitaid spokeswoman Herve Verhoosel. The system will provide at-risk premature babies with the respiratory support and oxygen they need to survive, he says.

He said the so-called bubble CPAP machine is a non-invasive method of ventilating newborns who are struggling to breathe. He says the oxygen blender gives babies the pure oxygen they need to prevent eye, lung and brain damage.

"The device is very cheap. At the end of the day, he takes less than US$500 to manufacture the device itself," he said. "I'm not talking about the R&D money we put into this. It's easy to use and will run for three years without electricity. It's a very cheap, efficient and easy-to-use device."

The bubble nasal device is available at 25 centers across Ukraine, 17 of which are perinatal centers. World Health Organization spokeswoman Margaret Harris says it is important to have portable her devices that can function offline in a war environment.

"One of the important things is to have a feature like this that works when there is no electricity, for example. And one thing that happens every time there's an attack is the electricity doesn't work," Harris said.

The device has been granted Emergency Use Authorization by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to help fight COVID-19. Unitaid says these devices can be used around the world, but are especially suited for use in humanitarian crises and poor countries.

This system has proven effective in saving the lives of premature babies and is currently being used in several African countries, as well as in Belgium and the United States.