Innovative garment to save mothers’ lives
The UN Commission on Life-Saving Commodities, the Clinton Health Access Initiative and the Safe Motherhood program, at the University of California, San Francisco, have just entered a deal with the Blue Fuzion Group, a manufacturer of non-pneumatic anti-shock garments (NASG), an equipment used to stabilize and prevent further bleeding in women with obstetric haemorrhage, to dramatically decrease the cost per use of the NASG. This deal will lower the ex-factory price of the NASG from ~$70/unit to $41.55/unit for CHAI and other partners.
In parallel, CHAI worked with the NASG manufacturer and the Safe Motherhood Program to develop and test a new, more durable material for the NASGs that testing has confirmed can withstand up to 144 wash and stretch-and-recovery cycles, compared to 40-50 uses previously.
Women hemorrhaging after giving birth can die in two hours – too short a period of time for women in poor resource settings who often deliver far from health care facilities to access treatment. This innovative NASG can maintain a woman alive for up to 30 hours until she receives adequate treatment. The new NASG is more resistant to chemicals and sun exposure, less likely to crack and tear, and has an improved shelf life. The NASG has been thoroughly tested in Ethiopia, Nigeria, Egypt Zambia And Zimbabwe and will be distributed in Ethiopia, South Africa, Malawi and Nigeria, with other countries to follow suit.
In Nigeria alone there are an estimated 9,044 deaths annually from Postpartum Hemorrhage (~13% of the global total) and these could be substantially addressed by roll out of the NASG as an important part of wider maternal and neonatal health interventions.