Firefly in Africa!

Firefly has been saving lives in Ghana and Burundi for almost six months. DtM partner East Meets West Foundation (an affiliate of Thrive Networks), installed Firefly at hospitals across all levels of care in Ghana. Firefly is also treating babies at Burundi’s Cibotoke District Hospital thanks to Italian NGO Comitato Collaborazione Medica.

A container of MTTS equipment arrives for East Meets West’s installation in Ghana. Photo courtesy Thrive Networks.

The busy streets of Accra on the way to deliver Firefly to the first hospital in Ghana. Photo courtesy Thrive Networks.

Four Firefly machines freshly unpacked at Korle Bu National Teaching Hospital. Photo courtesy Thrive Networks.

Michael O’Brien introduces Firefly to the doctors and nurses of Nsawam District Hospital. Photo courtesy Thrive Networks.

Washing the Firefly bassinet before its first use at Ridge Regional Hospital. Photo courtesy Thrive Networks.

Meet the first baby treated with Firefly on the African continent at Ridge Regional Hospital. Photo courtesy Thrive Networks.

About Thrive Networks' Breath of Life Program

Breath of Life focuses on strengthening the quality of newborn care in low-resource settings, where hospitals are too often ill-equipped to serve this vulnerable population. By providing appropriate medical devices and staff training, Breath of Life ensures these facilities can save the lives of infants suffering from jaundice and respiratory distress, common and easily treatable newborn conditions. The program gives health professionals the tools they need to fulfill their vision of delivering care, parents the opportunity to see their child grow and thrive, and children the chance to lead healthy and productive lives.

In a public-private partnership with MTTS, a Vietnam based social enterprise that manufactures affordable medical devices for neonatal units, Breath of Life addresses the multiple challenges that hospitals in low-resource environments face in reducing neonatal mortality and morbidity by:

  • Providing hospitals with durable new medical technology that is designed to function in low-resource settings, is easy to operate, and has no expensive consumable parts
  • Training doctors and nurses to use the equipment effectively
  • Providing additional clinical education on essential and advanced newborn care using a “train the trainer” approach
  • Supporting equipment maintenance by offering warranties and providing timely repairs
  • Ensuring program effectiveness through ongoing monitoring and evaluation

As Thrive Networks has scaled Breath of Life, the program has developed and sustained deep relationships with local and international partners, including over 300 hospitals in 10 countries and thousands of doctors and nurses. To ensure sustainability, Breath of Life works to strengthen linkages with local health authorities and ministries, involve them in integrating these technologies into the larger health system and strengthen their sustainability. We proactively seek to share our learnings and program model with others organizations in the Maternal, Newborn, and Child Health sector, using collaboration and partnerships to build a world in which no child dies from preventable causes.