Building a Bridge to Child Survival Through CPAP

Building a Bridge to Child Survival Through CPAP

Building a Bridge to Child Survival Through CPAP

Assist International, the GE Foundation, Columbia University, the Center for Public Health and Development, and Health Builders completed the three-year CPAP program in 2016. Respiratory illnesses account for 27% and 38% of deaths annually in children under 5 in Rwanda and Kenya, where advanced airway management, the preferred treatment, is often unfeasible due to the high cost of equipment and a lack of highly skilled personnel.  CPAP (Continuous Positive Airway Pressure) is a low-cost, low-technology intervention that decreases breathing difficulty while giving health care workers vitally needed time to respond to the underlying causes of acute respiratory distress.

This CPAP program created a group of CPAP senior trainers who trained other clinicians at their respective hospitals. This caused the use of CPAP to spread to many hospitals, children received greater access to CPAP, and, ultimately, CPAP became integrated into the public health systems of Kenya and Rwanda.  This program greatly improved respiratory health in the region.

CPAP Program Accomplishments:

  • The CPAP training model is being used in 24 institutions across Kenya and Rwanda.
  • 77 clinicians were trained as CPAP instructors: 37 in Kenya; 40 in Rwanda.
  • 83 second-generation clinicians were observed being trained by local instructors in Kenya.
  • 45 CPAP machines and associated equipment were delivered and are in use.
  • Because CPAP is sometimes used on critically ill patients, not all patients treated with CPAP survive. However, CPAP usage does give physicians valuable time to treat serious conditions. 

  • Over a 22-month period, there have been 1112 documented CPAP uses in Kenya.
  • Over a 28-month period, there have been 1005 documented uses in Rwanda.
  • Health Builders presented CPAP findings and techniques to the Rwandan Pediatric Society in September 2016, with the hope that they will continue to support CPAP as official program support from Assist International and partners ended.  
  • The Kenyan Ministry of Health fully endorsed CPAP in the national guidelines for a new neonatal protocol.  

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


Assist us in improving the lives of the world’s most vulnerable people.

Donate Get Involved Stay Informed