What does boosting sustainable energy access in the developing world have to do with improving global health? As it turns out, a lot.
Maurizio Vecchione, IV’s Senior Vice President of Global Good and Research, made this point strongly as he spoke recently to the second annual United Nations Sustainable Energy for All Forum on the Energy, Women and Children’s Health panel. Maurizio pointed out that Global Good, a collaborative effort between Bill Gates and IV to solve challenges in the developing world, works tirelessly not only to improve primary care and healthcare delivery, but also to enhance health technologies to run on low-resource or intermittent power.
Why is this important? Because energy will save lives. In just one minute, as Maurizio pointed out, 21 newborn children die around the world, in part because of a lack of access to oxygen. To help address this problem, Global Good is working to develop a more affordable oxygen concentrator that can run in low-resource areas to help more infants survive their first days.
The electricity issue is also drastically increasing rates of maternal mortality, particularly in cases of postpartum hemorrhaging. Postpartum hemorrhaging, the leading cause of maternal death, can usually be successfully treated with basic medication. But the medication requires refrigeration, and refrigeration in the developing world is typically powered by electricity. This is one of the many issues that Global Good’s passive storage device, Arktek™, addresses. Arktek can keep vaccines and drugs like oxytocin, medication often recommended to stop a hemorrhage, at the appropriate temperature for up to 35 days without power.Read the full story »