Winning Video: CUGH-Pulitzer 2016 Global Health Video Competition (Innovation Category)
The Universal Anaesthesia Machine
In low-income countries across Africa, Asia and elsewhere, hospitals often face infrastructure challenges – like limited electricity and oxygen – that inhibit the reliable delivery of anesthesia and surgery. As a result, emergency and essential surgeries have to be interrupted, postponed or referred, and the toll is significant: surgically treatable conditions account for 16.8 million deaths per year, millions more lifelong disabilities and trillions of dollars in lost productivity. Yet, according to the Lancet Commission on Global Surgery, an estimated five billion people around the world live without this basic right: access to safe surgical and anesthesia care.
Gradian Health Systems is a nonprofit social enterprise that equips hospitals around the world to deliver anesthesia safely and economically. Our mission is to improve access to safe surgery and perioperative care through technology, training, service and advocacy. The primary product we manufacture and sell is the Universal Anaesthesia Machine (UAM) – a CE-certified anesthesia machine designed to operate in hospitals with unreliable electricity and a shortage of compressed medical oxygen. To date, we’ve installed UAMs in 140 hospitals across 23 countries – including 18 in sub-Saharan Africa – helping enable approximately 100,000 safer surgeries worldwide. This video showcases the UAM’s innovation and its importance in Uganda.
Gradian Health Systems; What Took You So Long (producers)