In 2017, Gradian Health Systems was awarded a grant from Saving Lives at Birth for a project to reduce maternal and newborn deaths in Zambia.

The project combines Gradian’s anesthesia technology with intensive local training courses to strengthen Zambia’s capacity to deliver anesthesia during emergency childbirth procedures, such as C-section surgery. Designed in collaboration with the Ministry of Health and a team of leading Zambian healthcare organizations, the project represents one of the country's inaugural efforts to implement its new national surgical plan. It was launched in January 2018.

Sources: 1) Averting Maternal Death and Disability (AMDD), “Emergency Obstetric and Newborn Care,” Columbia University. 2) Ouma P, Maina J et al: “Access to emergency hospital care provided by the public sector in sub-Saharan Africa in 2015: a geocoded inventory and spatial analysis,” The Lancet Global Health, 2017. 3) World Bank: ”Sustainable Energy for All Database,” 2014. 4) WHO, UNICEF, UNFPA, World Bank Group: “Trends in Maternal Mortality” & “Child Mortality Estimation,” WHO, 2016. 5) Beltran A, Ye J et al: “The Increasing Trend in Caesarean Section Rates: Global, Regional and National Estimates: 1990-2014,” PLOS One, 2016.

“We’re absolutely honored to have this opportunity. We have the chance to demonstrate the central role of anesthesia in emergency obstetric care and surgical care more broadly – paving the way for our Zambian colleagues to take the project forward and deliver an early win for the country’s new surgical policy.”




Anesthesia Technology

Our project is equipping 32 hospitals in Central, Luapula, Muchinga, and Western Province with the Universal Anaesthesia Machine (UAM)--the world’s only CE-certified anesthesia machine that can generate its own medical oxygen and work without electricity. Our Zambian team of certified UAM service representatives will carry out a three-year warranty for each machine, complete with annual maintenance, equipment repairs, local spare parts, and technical support.

Clinical Skills Training

We're administering a series of internationally-validated capacity building courses for anesthesia providers from each project hospital. Leveraging a combination of centralized and on-site trainings with a mix of both proctored cases and simulation-based coaching, our trainings are refreshing and refining the skills of anesthesia providers in pediatric anesthesia, obstetric anesthesia, and general anesthesia using the UAM.

Biomedical Capacity Building

We're building out an expanded team of UAM service representatives to cover all of Zambia--including maintenance of the UAM and training of local technicians as part of the project. We're also designing a capacity building curriuclum to upskill local technicians on a set of life-saving devices needed for emergency childbirth care.

Together, the partners are monitoring these interventions to determine their impact on surgery, anesthesia, medical equipment, and maternal and newborn health outcomes in our target regions and facilities.