More than 20 years ago, back in 1996, Dr Mohammod Jobayer Christi was just a pediatric intern at a hospital in Bangladesh. But that first night in the department, changed his whole life.
“It was my first night as an intern and three children died before my eyes. I felt so helpless that I cried,”
There were technical solutions, such as the CPAP ventilator (continuous positive airway pressure) which in a way puts premature babies on assisted breathing and prevents their lungs from collapsing. Those machines, however, are out of reach for the modest budgets of hospitals in Bangladesh. And a single one wouldn’t suffice anyway - they would need multiple.
While working in Australia, he saw one such machine and that’s what inspired his invention. For just $1.25 in total, Dr. Christi came up with a makeshift device, that has made a world of difference for babies. It has cut pneumonia-related mortality rates at his hospital by 75% and reduced their annual oxygen bill from $30,000 down to $6,000, allowing staff to use the money wisely and save even more lives.