One of HEEDA’s ongoing and most successful programs was initiated by the non-profit, Embrace Inc. and the Harvard School of Public Health and has been featured in various publications including Bloomberg. The goal of this project is to address the issues of neonatal hypothermia during Afghanistan’s very cold and unforgiving winters.
We are dedicated to helping scale and expand the work of technologies and technology companies that promote long term solutions to health problems so that Afghanistan can begin to develop autonomy in its health infrastructure. The project announced in the Embrace Newsletter began at one public hospital in Kabul and quickly expanded to 2 others. The Embrace Nest is a low cost, high impact infant warmer that serves as an incubator to provide much needed warmth to a population with one of the highest infant (IMR) and under 5 mortality rates (U5MR) anywhere. Afghanistan like many developing countries suffers from poor access to health technologies, including unreliable electricity, medical engineering and sustainable support. The Embrace Nest requires very little electricity, is portable, and has been a welcome low tech medical intervention to save babies’ lives. It has also helped address issues of infection control and crowding of infants in incubators.
The project’s long term goals are to expand to more regional level hospitals and other facilities throughout the health chain. It has gained approval from administrators, health workers and the Minister of Health as a adjunct to treating neonatal hypothermia, in a country plagued by poor health outcomes, unreliable medical technologies and ongoing social and political insecurity.
Today, the project operates at 4 sites and has expanded to emergency ambulance services to transport newborns in critical condition to the hospitals. To date, the embrace units have helped over 3,000 infants and newborns
If you have any interest in working in Afghanistan or learning more about our program, please contact us.