Design Knowledge Intermediary
Kanga- Newborn resuscitation kit for developing countries
Surviving the golden minute. The mobile resuscitation kit Kanga.
Time is life. One million babies die each year due to lack of oxygen at birth, 99% of them in low resource settings. The risk of death could be decreased by 16% for every 30 seconds reduction in time to ventilation (Ersdal, Mduma, Svensen, Perlman, 2012). Simple interventions can save many of these lives.
Kanga is designed to guide the caregiver during resuscitation, helping to reduce the time to ventilation, while enabling to keep the mother and baby close during this critical time.
Observations of births and resuscitations in several hospitals in Tanzania, Norway and Sweden were essential to the design. Being onsite with mothers and caregivers, and collaboration with medical experts provided valuable insights that helped develop the Kanga solution.
The Kanga mobile resuscitation kit aims to streamline the process of resuscitating infants born with breathing difficulties, thus helping save newborn lives.
Inspiration and Method
For designers a human centered approach is often a given. But having the chance to put this approach into a different cultural perspective and exploring experience design for a low-resource-setting has proven to be an interesting quest.
By visiting four hospitals in rural and urban Tanzania and a close collaboration with Laerdal Global Health, experts on resuscitation and nurses from the neonatal intensive care unit at the Umeå hospital insights were created.
By prototyping and quickly testing concepts it was possible to access the validity of the design concepts. The aim was to create a new approach and thinking to the time to resuscitation and the training around it- creating an architecture of a project that could be further pursued.
Kanga consists of a supportive cradle and a transparent blanket. It enables the resuscitation space to be set virtually anywhere keeping mother and child close- so the caregiver does not have to make the choice between the mother and child’s care. It assists the midwife through resuscitation by giving feedback with lights, to help indicate when to ventilate or to keep ventilating. Simple instructions on the blanket guide the user through the steps as well as enhancing the signs of the baby’s wellbeing like chest rise.
By collecting information on the time to and duration of resuscitation, interruptions and the babies wellbeing – the supporting app can help to install a training culture through feedback on what to focus on during training.