Saturday, April 27, 2013

Infant Warmers Have Their Impact at RBH

Since its launch in late March of this year, the Embrace Nest has provided a crucial defense against infant hypothermia in Kabul's Rabia Balkhi Hospital. Afghanistan has some of the worst infant mortality rates in the world according to the World Health Organization. With the help of our partners, we are helping take small steps that will have substantial impacts. In Afghanistan's resource deprived setting, innovative technology and dedicated people can make the difference. Click here to learn more about the technology used by Embrace.

Meela Sarwar, far right, Site Manager for our Embrace program at RBH introduces the infant warmers to hospital staff.

The first of the newborns to benefit from the Embrace Nest, triplets born at the RBH maternity ward.

As previously mentioned, this is a pilot program with only a limited number of units currently in use with the expectation that the program will expand to at least 3 other public hospitals in the area later this summer. Our goal is to have maximum number of units in place and actively in use before the next harsh Afghan winter later this year. In less thank one month so far, a total of 26 infants have been cared for in the Embrace Nest. 

Saturday, April 13, 2013



Today was a very interesting day.  I had the privilege of going to a hospital in Kabul with my aunt to distribute incubators provided by an organization called Embrace.  The hospital that we went to was the first of four on my aunt’s list to receive these incubators that will save the lives of countless children. These incubators are small and portable and come with a heating pad that you heat up for 30 minutes in the AccuTemp heater and slip into the pouch of a special blanket/babywrap, which will keep an infant warm for 4-6 hours.  It’s absolutely genius and I’m so proud of my aunt for all the work she’s put into this project. I know first hand how hard she’s worked because I’ve been helping her out a bit while I’ve been here.
This first hospital is called Rabia Balkhi and to be quite honest, it’s a bit dilapidated.  The structure is old, equipment is pretty outdated and it seems as though they might be a bit understaffed at times. I have visited the hospital twice before and this was my third time seeing some of the struggles the staff face. They have so many patients to take care of and one of their major problems is the deaths of these newborn infants.  Not only Rabia Balkhi, but Afghanistan as a whole has quite a high mortality rate for infants and according to a couple of the nurses there premature births are pretty common.  So what these incubators will do is keep the infants warm and fight against things like hypothermia, which plays a huge role in the deaths of these infants. 
Being there for the training of the hospital staff on how to use these incubators was an extremely amazing experience for me and I’m very happy that I got to help in the process (I was the photographer and transported the bags containing the incubators).  This was definitely an experience I’ll never forget and I hope that these incubators will be a success.  
These are photos of my aunt introducing the incubators and instructing a couple of nurses on how to use the Accutemp heater/blanket.   

Monday, April 1, 2013

Embrace Arrives in Kabul!

On March 30th, 2013 one of our most anticipated projects was launched. After many months of planning and preparation the first batch of our highly anticipated Embrace Nests that we had introduced in a prior post last november (click here to view) arrived into Kabul and started our inaugural program at Rabia Balkhi hospital (RBH).

The initial batch of BabyWraps, WarmPaks, and AccuTemp heaters will be used around the clock at the neonatal wards of one of Kabul's busiest maternity centers to provide much needed artificial heat to newborns in need. A well known fact is that Afghanistan has some of the worst infant mortality numbers in the world, with premature births very common and hypothermia a common contributor to the grim data. Tools to combat hypothermia, such as expensive incubators that cost even more to maintain, are rare but often non-existent. Our hope is that the Embrace Nest will prove effective as an alternative, with a potential for having significant impact.

The management staff at RBH familiarize themselves with the Embrace Nest. 
March 30, 2013

After this initial launch, the program will be expanded to 3 other public hospitals where the need is greatest with a potential for further expansion beyond the urban center--security permitting. Once the units are integrated with the flow of the hospital, we will provide more frequent updates, and hopefully some outcome data.

Ms. Meela Sarwar (left), a nurse by training will be supporting us as the Site Manager at RBH
March 30, 2013

If you are interested in learning more about our project please follow the link on the left side of the page. To find out more about Embrace and other sites where the Nest is being used, please follow this link: www.