Institution: Gradian Health Systems, Inc.
Institution Country: United States
Implementation Country: Zambia
Area of Focus: Saving Lives at Birth/Oxygen Delivery

The Challenge

Health facilities in low- and middle-income countries are often faced with power outages, presenting a unique challenge to daily operations and contributing to high maternal and newborn mortality rates. In Zambia, less than half of hospitals have a 24-hour supply of electricity, 80% of the population lives more than two hours away from surgical and obstetric facilities, and less than two-thirds of hospitals have medical oxygen.

About the Innovation

Gradian Health Systems is working closely with the Zambian government and other local partners to integrate their Universal Anesthesia Machine in local hospitals. The Universal Anesthesia Machine is the world’s first and only CE-certified anesthesia machine designed to work without electricity and medical-grade oxygen. Training and support is provided to healthcare workers to deliver anesthesia safely. Nearly 30 operation rooms in Zambia have been equipped, offering pregnant women and newborns improved access to safe surgical and obstetric care.

Gradian Health Systems is responding to the COVID-19 pandemic by equipping hospital beds with the Comprehensive Care Ventilator. This portable device, which has up to 21 hours of battery power, provides ventilation for critically-ill adult and pediatric patients in settings with an unreliable supply of power and oxygen.

“The trainings from the beginning were well oriented around the machine–something that has never happened. Normally we receive machines where we have to teach ourselves how to use them on the ground and the results are not good. With this machine, we are being oriented so by the time we have it, we should be able to use it fully.”

Trainee, Kabwe General Hospital, Zambia

“The training has helped me sharpen my skills, and with the coming of the machine, I won’t be worried about the power outage because now I can use this new machine without power.”

Trainee, Samfya District Hospital, Zambia