Neonatal Healthcare in Rural Africa

Neonatal Healthcare in Rural Africa

Photos and Stories by: Sarah Severns for D-Rev

D-Rev designs and delivers healthcare technology to under-served populations. D-Rev’s products are user-centric, affordable, and durable – proving to be an important part of closing the quality healthcare gap around the world. 

Late on a Friday afternoon, Kyomukama sat alone on a thatched mat just inside the doorway of her home in Kitoma Village near Fort Portal, Uganda. As the shadows grew long and the sun began to set, she retraced the traumatic loss of her fifth child while giving birth just weeks before. The delivery was long and complicated, unlike the deliveries of her other 4 children. After frantically seeking help from 3 different medical centers in the middle of the night, and borrowing money to cover the cost of a private hospital, Kyomukama still lacked access to the medical interventions needed to save her baby’s life. “The baby let out a single cry, and then then was rushed off to the NICU.” Kyomukama did not learn of her baby’s death until five hours later.

Betty Ayebale, a midwife who cared for Kyomukama after the loss of her baby, explained that this type of story is an all-too-common occurrence. In 2017, the infant mortality rate in Uganda was 56.1 deaths per 1000 live births, nearly ten times higher than that of the United States. “Mothers and newborns in poor families have an increased risk of illness and face more challenges in accessing timely quality care compared to wealthier families. Rural families and the urban poor are particularly vulnerable,” the Uganda Ministry of Health reports.

When maternal and neonatal complications arise in rural Uganda, access to the appropriate interventions often equals the difference between life and death. This requires medical professionals with the right training and facilities with proper equipment. To date, D-Rev’s products have stood in the gap for nearly half a million patients across 63 countries. The combination of low-cost, high quality products, and sustainable distribution ensures that D-Rev’s work continues to save countless lives.

“I would have loved to raise that baby,” Kyomukama said somberly. D-Rev’s East Africa Regional Manager, Rebeccca Kaduru, explains.

“By providing affordable access to life-saving medical devices D-Rev seeks to close gaps in healthcare systems in the hardest to reach areas so that individuals like Kyomukama and her children are able to better access lifesaving treatment.”


You can learn more about D-Rev here and donate to support their work here.

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Equalize Health

Equalize Health designs and delivers affordable, innovative medical technologies that protect and transform the lives of the global poor. They recognize that health is a prerequisite to autonomy and self-sufficiency, and strive to address global health inequities.

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The views expressed in blog posts are those of the author, and not necessarily those of Peter Singer or The Life You Can Save.