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Prize will expand use of life-saving neonatal device in Africa
Date:11/14/2013

developing world. In 2010, a team of senior students from Rice University in Houston, Texas, invented bubble CPAP as a low-cost alternative. The team members -- Jocelyn Brown, Michael Pandya, Joseph Chang, Haruka Maruyama and Katie Schnelle -- created the technology as part Rice 360's award-winning, hands-on engineering education program Beyond Traditional Borders (BTB).

In clinical trials at Queen Elizabeth Central Hospital, bubble CPAP was shown to increase the survival rate of newborns with respiratory distress by 27 percent. It is estimated that the technology could save the lives of 178,000 African children if implemented continentwide.

In Malawi, bubble CPAP has been renamed "Pumani," which means "breathe easy" in Chichewa, one of the languages spoken in Malawi. Pumani costs about 15 times less than traditional CPAP, and Rice 360, Queen Elizabeth Central Hospital, the University of Malawi College of Medicine and the Malawi Ministry of Health are working together to distribute Pumani to Malawi's 27 government hospitals.

"We are thrilled to be working with Friends of Sick Children in Malawi, and the University of Malawi College of Medicine to expand the Pumani program and begin replicating its success in Tanzania, Zambia and South Africa," said Rebecca Richards-Kortum, Rice's Stanley C. Moore Professor and chair of the Department of Bioengineering and director of both BTB and Rice 360.

"The award money from the GSK-Save the Children Healthcare Innovation Award program will allow us to extend the reach of this life-saving technology and save thousands of lives," said Maria Oden, director of Rice's Oshman Engineering Design Kitchen and co-director of BTB.

Pumani was one of five winning projects selected GSK and Save the Children from nearly 100 applications from 29 countries.

In September, Pumani was chosen by the United Nations as one of 10 "Breakthrough Innovations That Can Save Women and Children Now." Tha
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Contact: Jade Boyd
jadeboyd@rice.edu
713-348-6778
Rice University
Source:Eurekalert  

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