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INNOVATION: Ifakara partners launch new tool for challenged newborns

May 28, 2022 8:00 – 14:30 EAT
INNOVATION: Ifakara partners launch new tool for challenged newborns
“BiliDix” machine demonstration. PHOTO | IFAKARA/Coms

Ifakara Health Institute (Ifakara)’s NEST360 program partners - Hatch Technologies and Anudha Limited – have launched a new tool known as “BiliDx” - a bilirubinometer which allows nurses and clinicians to get quick and accurate Total Serum Bilirubin (TSB) results, so they can manage jaundice without leaving their wards or waiting for external testing.

The launching event was held in Dar es Salaam on May 28th 2022 and was graced by Dr. Ahmad Makuwani, Assistant Director of Reproductive and Child Health Section in the Tanzania’s Ministry of Health.

At the same event, Dr. Stephen Swanson, a Medical Director of Nicu at the Arusha Lutheran Medical Center (ALMC), was guest speaker. Other representatives in attendance included: Catherine Paul - NEST360 Country Liaison officer; Dick Oranja- Hatch Technologies Executive Director and Anurag Hassija - Anudha Director.

BiliDx, an innovation by Hatch Technologies, is used to measure TSB in neonates by measuring light transmitted through the serum sample on a disposable test strip.

The new tool has several benefits which include; it gives quick results of TSB within minutes of testing, it’s accurate and gives consistent, precise reading for clinicians, it does not require a point of care or laboratory for usage, it’s simple and portable, it’s versatile and can be used before, during and after phototherapy treatment, and it has a longevity strip shelf life of 4 years with up to 600 tests on a single battery charge.

The launch is part of Hatch, Nest360 and Anudha’s commitment to reducing 50% of newborn deaths in African hospitals by closing the gaps in technology, market and human resources for the implementation of quality hospital-based newborn care.

Hatch together with Anudha have distributed newborn care devices and through phase 1 of the NEST360 program, these devices have been distributed in seven hospitals in Tanzania namely: Muhimibili National Hospital (Upanga and Mloganzila); Amana Regional Referral Hospital; Mwananyamala Regional Referral Hospital; Temeke Regional Referral Hospital; Kilimanjaro Christian Medical Center (KCMC), and Mbeya Zonal Referral Hospital.

About NEST 360
Newborn Essential Solutions and Technologies (NEST360) is a global consortium committed to reducing newborn deaths by 50% in hospitals, currently conducted in Tanzania, Kenya, Malawi, and Nigeria. The program, which in Tanzania is being implemented by Ifakara Health Institute and a bunch of other partners including Hatch Technologies and Anudha, is an evidence-based model for sustainable health system change to close the gaps in technology, markets, and human resources for the implementation of quality hospital-based newborn care on a national scale.