SOURCE: Global Healing

Global Healing

October 04, 2010 09:00 ET

Global Healing to Donate Life-Saving Phototherapy Light Meters to Developing Countries

BERKELEY, CA--(Marketwire - October 4, 2010) -  Global Healing, a leading non-profit organization devoted to providing modern medical equipment, training and supplies to the developing world, announced today that it will distribute phototherapy light meters free of charge to hospitals in developing countries for the treatment of jaundice in newborns.

Phototherapy, or light treatment, is the most common form of therapy for jaundice in newborns; however, it is difficult to measure the amount of light waves that penetrate a newborn's skin. A new phototherapy light meter, designed by Ron Newton, chief technical consultant for Global Healing, monitors the phototherapy lights to ensure that safe amounts of therapeutic irradiated light rays are emitted onto newborns. Typically the cost of this technology would exceed $2,000.00 but Global Healing has partnered with HEDCO in Danville, Calif., and the Reno Central Rotary Club in Reno, Nev., to provide 1,000 phototherapy light meters free of charge to hospitals in developing countries.

"It's very exciting to receive an instrument to ensure proper operation of our phototherapy lights, as the light meter will enable us to work together with our biomedical engineers to save the lives of newborns in Dominica," said Rhonda McIntyre-Frances, M.D., MBBS, FAAP, FRCP(C), Chief Pediatrician, Princess Margaret Hospital, Roseau, Dominica. "The relationship with Global Healing has greatly helped our medical community, and the distribution of the phototherapy light meter will significantly help our maternity department."

The units are convenient for both physicians and engineers to determine the effectiveness of phototherapy lights. Instructions in English, Spanish, French, Russian, Swahili, Thai, Arabic and Chinese will be provided with the instrument, and instructions will also be available online at http://www.globalhealing.org/ourwork/meter.html. In addition, Global Healing will offer remote technical assistance free of charge as needed.

"We are grateful for the opportunity to positively impact the lives of newborns and families in Dominica and around the world, as this new technology will ensure the effective and safe treatment of neonatal jaundice," said Luke Ifland, President, Global Healing, Berkeley, Calif. "In addition, we are thrilled to be partnering with HEDCO, a leading San Francisco Bay Area grant-making foundation, and with the Reno Central Rotary Club."

About Phototherapy:
Phototherapy is the process of using light to eliminate bilirubin in the blood. The newborn's skin and blood absorb the light waves and change bilirubin into byproducts, which can pass through his or her system. This treatment is used for a few days until the liver is mature enough to handle the bilirubin on its own.

It is estimated that 2,000,000 newborns around the world will benefit from the phototherapy light meters. This is based on the 20-year life of the meters, at 1,000 hospitals, each with an average neonatal patient size of 200 per year, with 50 percent prevalence of ABO hemolytic disease of the newborn (Kumar RK. Neonatal jaundice. An update for family physicians. Aust Fam Physician 1999;28:679-682.).

About Global Healing
Global Healing is a US-registered 501(c)(3) non-profit organization devoted to providing modern medical equipment, training and supplies to the developing world. It was established in 1994, initially to train and equip a team of pediatric cardiology surgeons in Tbilisi, Georgia to perform the nation's first ever pediatric open-heart surgeries. Global Healing has since started medical programs in Armenia, Honduras, and now Dominica as well as Moldova. More information can be found at www.globalhealing.org.

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