More than 1 million newborns die in sub-Saharan Africa annually; 75% of these deaths could be prevented if hospitals were equipped to deliver high quality care for small and sick newborns. The hospitals where most mothers in sub-Saharan Africa give birth lack life-saving technologies and adequate numbers of trained staff that are necessary to manage preterm babies and newborns in distress.
NEST360 is an alliance of 16 organizations—11 based in Africa— working with governments to ensure that every hospital in Africa can deliver quality life-saving care for every newborn. NEST360 is building a movement to scale quality newborn care and end preventable newborn mortality in Africa. NEST360’s network of clinicians, engineers, and policy makers are delivering affordable, rugged, life-saving newborn care technologies, preparing clinicians and technicians to use, maintain and repair these devices, transforming how data are captured and used in healthcare facilities, and building a network of African engineers to design the next generation of medical devices.
The NEST360 package is now integrated in hospitals across Malawi, Kenya, Tanzania, and Nigeria. This evidence-based approach is catalyzing change across sub-Saharan Africa to support the Sustainable Development Goals and provide every small and sick newborn with quality care.
Rice 360° Institute for Global Healthwebsite: https://www.nest360.org/
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NEST360 partnered with governments to scale in Malawi and launch in Kenya, Tanzania, and Nigeria. NEST equipment and training materials are incorporated in nationally approved newborn care programs in all four countries. More than 500,000 newborns are born annually at NEST-equipped hospitals.
NEST and UNICEF led development of target product profiles for newborn care equipment in low-resource settings; NEST established a non-profit global distributor which delivered over 2,300 life-saving devices to African newborn units, maintaining >95% up-time.
NEST established skills labs where 13,000 health care providers and biomedical technicians learned to use, maintain, and repair technologies crucial for newborn survival. NEST partnered with engineering schools to engage engineers in designing technologies to address local health needs, including scale of novel technologies to combat the COVID pandemic.
NEST worked with UNICEF and global stakeholders to develop an on-line Implementation Toolkit for Small and Sick Newborn Care, including support of local innovation. "
COVID-19 has significantly impacted global efforts to reduce newborn mortality in low- and middle-income countries; a recent study confirmed anecdotal evidence of a decrease in the number of institutional births during the lockdown and an increase in both numbers of stillborn births and the institutional neonatal mortality rate. The pandemic underscores the importance of strengthening all health systems to provide critical care, including that needed by small and sick newborns, and developing a sustainable supply chain for affordable, robust medical technologies. NEST360 remains committed to its core goals for neonatal survival in sub-Saharan Africa, but is now also leveraging its platform for COVID-19 preparedness and response, including supply chains and trainings for PPE and infection control and invention education to strengthen local innovation in Africa to address the pandemic. As noted by the former President of Malawi during his June 2020 visit to the NEST innovation design studio at Malawi University of Science and Technology, “This crisis has proven that we can become a self-dependent nation, capable of producing technologies that can lead in the world.”
Racial and Ethnic Injustice Response
We recognize the wide-ranging and lasting effects of colonialism in Africa, including how global health and development efforts have historically been implemented. We have sought to practice “respectful global health” by engaging local African partners from the outset. The NEST360 partnership is based on shared ownership, leadership, design, implementation, and responsibility.
We are also committed to learning from and developing the next generation of African innovators who will develop solutions for future global health challenges.