Performing anesthesia and operating on babies and children can be very different from caring for adults. Kids are unlike adults in their anatomy, the diseases that affect them, and how their bodies respond to illness and healing. It takes expert training and specific equipment to properly perform anesthesia or surgery on a child.
Even the most complex operations can appear routine in the developed world because of specialized doctors and high-tech hospitals well-equipped to deal with any potential complications. In low-income countries, however, even the most routine procedures on kids can have disastrous consequences if the health care provider is not comfortable treating children, or if hospitals and clinics don’t have the appropriate monitoring equipment.
Child birth is still very dangerous in many places in the world. Many babies die stuck inside the womb or due to problems with the placenta or with the mother’s health. In most wealthy countries, this sad reality is prevented by the availability of Cesarean Sections (C-Sections).
With safe anesthesia and the availability of the operation the life of the baby can be quickly and easily saved, and risk to the mother is also significantly decreased. But C-Sections are not available in many countries due to lack of resources – including the obstetrician and the anesthesia provider!
So in some very poor countries, a mother in need of a C-Section may only have a 1 in 12 chance of having access to one! And her risk of death during child birth may be as high a 1 in 8! With your help, we can change this reality.
A pulse oximeter is a simple, inexpensive monitor which measures the life giving oxygen and keeps a patient safe during anesthesia and surgery! The pulse oximeter has changed the world by making anesthesia much safer in every setting. It is simply and painlessly applied to the finger, toe or ear and it quickly measures the amount of oxygen in the blood, and alerts those monitoring to any problems. When a drop in oxygen is noticed, live saving interventions can be made.
In most settings in low income countries, there is no pulse oximetry and yet anesthesia and surgery continue. In many of these settings there is also NO Oxygen Available – doubling the danger to all those in need of safe anesthesia and surgery. Providing pulse oximeters and teaching providers to watch them and treat problems can be easily accomplished. Money and education can make an incredible difference to the mothers, children and anyone having surgery in poor countries.
Essential medicines are medicines that have been identified as necessary, safe and effective in treating global health issues. The World Health Organization (WHO) first defined essential medicines in 1977 in response to a global need to provide better access to health care, including medications for both emergency and chronic conditions.
Access to emergency and essential medicines is critical to save lives and improve overall health of developing nations. Yet close to 1/3 of the world’s population does not have regular access to essential medicines. At this rate by 2015, over 10 million deaths per year could be avoided by increasing access and compliance to essential medicines.