By Robert Miros
Procurement of medical supplies made national headlines at the start of the COVID-19 epidemic, exposing a fragile supply chain for even the best equipped hospitals in the US. For NEST360° partner hospitals in Africa, the challenges of securing quality medical equipment are even greater.
Hatch Technologies (Hatch) is a nonprofit organization that originated from NEST360°, and shares its bold commitment to reducing facility-based neonatal mortality in sub-Saharan Africa by 50%. Hatch provides comprehensive distribution and support services for high quality medical devices designed for newborn care units throughout sub-Saharan Africa. Hatch acts as the connection between medical device manufacturers and local distributors to offer high quality newborn care products and services to hospitals.
In partnership with NEST360°, Hatch is navigating unprecedented supply chain challenges due to COVID-19 to assist hospitals in Kenya and Malawi receive the crucial medical equipment they need to save lives, with support from the ELMA Relief Foundation. This equipment includes oxygen concentrators, pulse oximeters, infrared thermometers and suction machines. Deliveries were made in July and August, and we will be working to facilitate successful installation and maintenance of all devices.
As cases of COVID-19 increase in Africa, both Hatch and NEST360° are committed now more than ever to ensuring that every hospital in sub-Saharan Africa can deliver life-saving care for newborns. This pandemic underscores the importance of strengthening all health systems to provide critical care, including that needed by small and sick newborns, and developing a sustainable supply chain for affordable, robust medical technologies.