Journal article

Solar-powered oxygen, quality improvement and child pneumonia deaths: a large-scale effectiveness study

Trevor Duke, Francis Pulsan, Doreen Panauwe, Ilomo Hwaihwanje, Martin Sa'avu, Magdalynn Kaupa, Jonah Karubi, Eleanor Neal, Hamish Graham, Rasa Izadnegahdar, Susan Donath



BACKGROUND: Pneumonia is the largest cause of child deaths in low-income countries. Lack of availability of oxygen in small rural hospitals results in avoidable deaths and unnecessary and unsafe referrals. METHOD: We evaluated a programme for improving reliable oxygen therapy using oxygen concentrators, pulse oximeters and sustainable solar power in 38 remote health facilities in nine provinces in Papua New Guinea. The programme included a quality improvement approach with training, identification of gaps, problem solving and corrective measures. Admissions and deaths from pneumonia and overall paediatric admissions, deaths and referrals were recorded using routine health information data fo..

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Funding Acknowledgements

This project was funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. Project funding, which also included support for trialling the implementation of oxygen concentrators in 12 urban hospitals in Nigeria, was provided in 2014. Preparatory work for this project occurred in 2014 and 2015. Additional funding was provided by the RE Ross Trust (Victoria) for training aspects and by the National Health Department of PNG, and the Provincial Health Authorities in each province (in-kind funding with contributions by many clinical and technical staff). The funding agencies, especially the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and the PNG National Department of Health, have worked closely with the project leaders, with input into design and method of analysis, but the final methodology, analysis and decision to publish are independent of the funding agencies.