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Nigerian Mom Designs Solar-Powered Cribs That Put an End to Baby Jaundice Disease

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 Nigerian mom found out the hard way that jaundice is still a dangerous disease in Africa—but now she’s putting an end to the infant disease with her new tech startup, making solar-powered cribs.

After her traumatic experience with jaundice as a new mother, Virtue Oboro pivoted 180° in her professional life, in an effort to help prevent the terrifying situation from befalling other moms.

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Oboro’s son, Tombra, was just 48 hours old when he had to be rushed to the NICU, suffering from a build-up of bilirubin, which causes yellow skin and can lead to permanent damage or even death.

The treatment is fairly simple and widespread in developing countries: blue-light phototherapy.

Virtue’s hospital had no phototherapy devices, so Tombra had to receive a risky emergency blood transfusion. Her son would make a full recovery, but Virtue was changed by the experience.

“I felt like some of the things I experienced could have been avoided,” the visual designer told CNN. “I thought, is there something I could do to make the pain less for the babies and the mothers?”

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What could a visual designer do? She designed the Crib A’Glow and named her new company Tiny Hearts.

The portable, deployable phototherapy unit is powered by the African sun, and costs one-sixth the price of a normal phototherapy crib—and manufactured in her homeland of Nigeria.

Tiny Hearts / Facebook

Virtue’s husband had some experience working with solar panels before, so he lent a hand to the visual designer, who was busy navigating the unknown waters of a new profession. She worked with a pediatrician through the design process to ensure all the details would benefit the tiny babies.

Two years ago, Crib A’Glow picked up a $50,000 grant from Johnson & Johnson through the Africa Innovation Challenge, and the Crib A’Glow can now be found in 500 hospitals across Nigeria and neighboring Ghana. Already it has been used on 300,000 babies.

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Virtue, who has also become a 2022 awardee for The Africa Prize for Engineering Innovation, says a further 200,000 babies were saved from jaundice by deploying the cribs to rural areas—no hospitals or electricity needed.

Source: goodnewsnetwork

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