Saving babies at home and abroad – Full speed ahead!


First off, once again I wanted to relay my sincerest thanks to you for your support.  None of this would be possible without the contributions from our donors, partners, volunteers and hard-working team.

I’m constantly amazed by the people who have jumped in headfirst to adopt our cause.

Much has transpired since my last message and I want to keep you in the loop on our progress.   So on to the updates!

Our Bubble CPAPs are in High Demand

Since the COVID-19 Pandemic started, demand has shot through the roof for Vayu-bCPAP devices to save babies in distress and free up ventilators for adults.

Numerous countries and organizations are eager to get devices and the Vayu Foundation (Ujenzi) has been manually assembling devices responding to requests from around the world including…

  • Indiana University
  • Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia
  • Colorado Children’s Hospital
  • The US Indian Health Service
  • The Ontario Midwifery Association
  • Italy
  • Vietnam
  • Bangladesh
  • South Africa
  • Guatemala
  • Nicaragua
  • Nigeria
  • India
  • Kenya
  • Tanzania

And we’re pleased to share that we’re working on a partnership with Save the Children. SAVE has identified 19 countries in critical need of devices.

Desperate Need in the Navajo Nation

One particularly high-risk population right here in the United States is the Navajo Nation Indian reservation.  Many are poor and vulnerable, and newborns, infants, and children do not have access to CPAP devices or ventilators.

When a Navajo newborn is in respiratory distress, they must get emergency medical helicopter support from Albuquerque.  Not only does the high cost put a strain on their already ravaged economy, but it rips apart babies from their families.  Because of COVID, mothers are not permitted to travel with their babies.

But, now that we’ve started shipping our bCPAPs to the Navajo Nation we’re enabling local high-quality care that lets infants stay with their mothers during a critical time in newborns and early childhood.

According to Dr. Neil Gholkar from the Indian Health Service Navaho Reservation, in Shiprock, New Mexico:

The Vayu-bCPAP devices help us not only improve care but also save money. Our families even before COVID had difficulty traveling and affording to stay in Albuquerque, but now it is essentially impossible. Therefore, no mother and baby time together after birth and no breast feedingThe Vayu-bCPAP allows us to keep most babies here and provide high quality care.

Training in Vietnam

Below we see Tinh Nguyen, M.D., Ph.D, a neonatologist and Vice Chair of the NICU at Children’s Hospital in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam.  He is conducting training with colleague pediatricians on the Vayu-bCPAP device.

Dr. Nguyen shares,

It is so easy to use and helps us improve care and save babies’ lives.” Of course launching new programs does not come without its small bumps in the road…”We melted part of one of the devices by trying to sterilize it in the oven, but otherwise they work perfectly.

Critical Transports in Italy

In Italy, devices have now been helping newborns from Tuscany and are particularly helpful transporting between facilities and supporting babies immediately after resuscitations.

Below we see senior neonatologist and leader in the Tuscany region, Dr. Luigi Gagliardi, with his team training on the Vayu-bCPAP device.

According to Dr. Gagliardi,

The Vayu bCPAP device is easy to use and we especially find it helpful to transport sick babies between hospitals, from maternity to the NICU, and when going to tests in our hospital like ultrasound. It is high quality and we have no problems.

Thanks again to each of you and warm wishes!

Thomas F. Burke, MD, FACEP, FRSM
Director Global Health Innovations Lab
Department of Emergency Medicine, Massachusetts General Hospital
Associate Professor, Harvard Medical School
Associate Professor, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health
President, Vayu Global Health Foundation
President, Ujenzi Charitable Trust