16 July 2018
MRCG through the TEKNON Project donated equipment worth GBP 50,000 to The Gambia Government through the Ministry of Health and Social Welfare to aid in the prevention of pneumonia related deaths.
Pneumonia is the leading cause of child deaths worldwide and can be reduced with oxygen supplementation, but the lack of reliable supplies in sub-Saharan Africa makes it difficult to access.
The TEKNON project aimed to improve access to oxygen using novel sustainable solutions. The project was a product development study aimed at identifying optimal prototype specifications by developing and field testing in government health facilities a concentrator-based oxygen supply system for use in resource-limited settings that would operate reliably and cost-effectively with little or no maintenance and mains power.
The MRC Unit The Gambia following useful findings from initial field tests using a mains-powered prototype, a solar-powered prototype was considered an optimal institution to work along with The Gambian Government for further testing. The project was successfully completed in December 2016.
Results have indicated excellent performance of the solar prototype against pre-defined targets, with delivery of high quality oxygen 24/7 (> 82%) independent of mains power and oxygen availability for hypoxemic children 99% of the time.
The donated items included a TEKNON Solar Prototype A and TEKNON Mains Power Prototype for Soma site, TEKNON Solar Prototype B, TEKNON Mains Power Prototype for Farafenni, TEKNON Mains Power Storage Prototype for Basse and Spares (Elite Oxygen Concentrator) for Fajara site.
Speaking at the handing over ceremony, The Unit Director Umberto D’Alessandro thanked The Gambia Government for their long-standing partnership. He concluded by adding that the equipment donated will make a significant difference in saving the lives of children in The Gambia.
Dr Mamadi Cham, Director Health Services Edward Francis Small Teaching Hospital echoed similar sentiments. He thanked MRCG for the timely intervention noting that the mortality rate will definitely decrease.