Message From Dr. Thomas Burke, Vayu President
I can’t believe it, but I am turning 60 years old this year!
My birthday wish is to culminate our work in maternal and child health over the past 10 years and make a profound impact on millions of families worldwide.
I’ve had the good fortune to work on a lot of amazing initiatives over the years, but I truly believe the work I describe below is the most impactful I’ve ever been a part of.
I would be eternally grateful if you would help make my dream a reality. Please take a moment to read about it below.
Who is Dr. Burke?
Dr. Thomas Buke has a truly fantastic story. From working in the FBI Hostage Rescue Team, to building housing in South Sudan, to ...
My 60th Birthday Challenge:
I’m so fortunate to have celebrated 59 birthdays in good health. But childbirth and infancy for families around the globe is too often a tragic event.
Every year, 6.1 million children lose their lives before their 5th birthday and 120 million suffer lifelong disabilities.
This is the global catastrophe that no one is talking about. But it is preventable. And my birthday wish is for us to
save 3.75 million children from death or disability by 2024.
We have a simple, low-cost solution that has FDA emergency use approval and is poised for worldwide distribution. Over the next 4 months, I need your help to raise $1.85 million to get our medical devices in the hands of the doctors, nurses, and staff who desperately need them.
Our Chance To Save More Lives
Over the past 10 years, the Vayu Global Health Foundation and its forebearer, the Ujenzi Charitable Trust, have supported field-testing of
three breakthrough devices.
The game-changing, US FDA-approved uterine balloon tamponade device (ESM-UBT) saves a woman’s life every few minutes and has already
saved tens of thousands of lives.
The US FDA has declared our device equivalent to the gold standard UBT on the market. Pregna International is now manufacturing 10,000 ESM-UBTs every month and selling them for 60 times less money than the alternative.
And we are on track to bring two more disruptive devices to market and
save millions of children worldwide.
The number one killer of pregnant women in the world is postpartum hemorrhage (PPH).
And Infant Respiratory Distress is the number one killer of newborns and infants.
“These are not medical problems, they are a humanitarian epidemic. Both of these issues are preventable through modern medicine, but solutions are currently inaccessible to under-resourced nations.
We are at a unique moment in time where we have the power to eradicate two of the largest global health killers in history.
With surviving and healthy mothers and newborns, children become educated, family sizes decrease, and communities lift out of poverty.
A critical part of solving these preventable issues is to engineer affordable life-saving medical devices.”
–Dr. Thomas Burke - Chief of the Global Health Innovations Lab at the Massachusetts General Hospital and President of the Vayu Global Health Foundation
Each year, tens of millions of children die
or become permanently disabled in infancy.
Saving Infants and Young Children
Every year, six million children under five lose their lives and 120 million suffer lifelong disabilities. The majority of these are newborns and the most common cause is respiratory distress.
Along with the US National Institute of Health (NIH), the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, UNITAID/WHO, and Save the Children, the Vayu Global Health Foundation has supported the development of the ultra-low-cost Vayu-bCPAP and Oxygen Blender Systems, allowing for precise delivery of oxygen concentrations, pressure, flowrates, and humidification to dramatically improve outcomes of newborns, infants, and children worldwide.
The final prototypes have successfully treated more than 2,500 infants in select facilities in India, Tanzania, Vietnam, Nepal, Italy, the Philippines, and Kenya.
Now the devices are poised for commercial production on a global scale.
She Can't Breathe!
Sarita was born 2 months early in a district hospital in Central India, weighing only 3.08 pounds.
She was a tiny, beautiful baby, but her lungs were not fully developed and she couldn't breathe on her own.
The usual care in facilities like this outside North America and Europe is to administer pure oxygen. While this can help restore breathing, unregulated concentrations of oxygen cause blindness and permanent lung and brain injury...
Sarita and her family were lucky. A few days prior, the pediatricians and nurses had received our training on the Vayu-bCPAP System.
The system would provide the right flow and concentration of air to keep Sarita from experiencing serious complications.
After treatment was applied, Sarita became pink and active within minutes.
Sarita spent a week on the Vayu-bCPAP System and when she was healthy and strong enough, the device was replaced by the more portable Vayu Oxygen Blender System.
Four weeks after being born, Sarita went home with her mother, healthy in every way.
Had it not been for the two Vayu devices Sarita may have died, or suffered from life-long eye, brain, and lung injuries.
We’re Building Sustainable Solutions
The Vayu bCPAP System is equivalent in quality to the finest bubble CPAP devices in the world. Yet it will cost 50 times less while the Vayu Oxygen Blender System will cost 20 times less.
Vayu Oxygen Blender System
Once produced at scale, these devices will be made available to health systems and medical facilities at an affordable price-point so distribution can be self-sustaining.
Your investment will help to commercialize and scale these 2 devices for global distribution over the next 12 months. Similar medical devices are largely inaccessible to nations with limited resources, but these devices will be accessible to every hospital and clinic in the world.
|Global Health Challenge||Existing (Western) Commercial Device||Vayu, Ultra-low-Cost Alternative|
|Newborn/Infant Respiratory Distress||Bubble CPAP||$12,000||Vayu-bCPAP||$250|
|Newborn/Infant Respiratory Distress||Oxygen Blender||$1,000||Vayu Oxygen Blender System||$50|
The Months Ahead
Our effort to commercialize these two lifesaving medical devices is already well underway. The Vayu-bCPAP system has already gained FDA emergency use authorization and both of the Vayu Oxygen Delivery Systems are in process for full US FDA approval.
Over the next 12 months we will scale manufacturing processes, establish distribution channels, and work with local governments and health partners to foster adoption of these devices in communities throughout the world.
Our Projected Costs
Here is how funds are being used in order to bring these two life-saving devices to a global distribution platform.
How You Can Help
In 2021 and 2022, Vayu will be accelerating and scaling our lifesaving solutions into a sustainable commercial enterprise.
It's hard to visualize such a big number of children, but we truly have the ability to achieve
my birthday wish of saving 3.75 million children from death or disability by 2024.
We’ve already saved thousands of lives with small-scale prototypes. Imagine the millions of babies and young children that could be saved and whose lives will be improved with these devices in every medical facility in every country.
To do this, we need to raise an additional 1.85 million dollars over the next 6 months. This will allow us to finalize FDA regulation and manufacturing, and develop a global distribution platform.
The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, the National Institutes of Health, the WHO, and Save the Children all see the enormous potential humanitarian impact and have already made significant contributions to these initiatives.
We’re at a tipping point and need additional help to complete our mission to address these intractable global health challenges.
With your support, we’ll be able to take steps towards eradicating the leading killers and disablers of our world’s newborns, infants, and young children.
Will you help us? We’re looking for financial contributions and social champions to help spread the word.
Just fill out our contact form and let us know you want to be involved. We’ll get in touch with you to discuss ways you can make an impact.
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