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

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A Nigerian mother came upon the exhausting approach that jaundice continues to be a harmful illness in Africa—however now she’s placing an finish to the toddler illness together with her new tech startup, making solar-powered cribs.

After her traumatic expertise with jaundice as a brand new mom, Virtue Oboro pivoted 180° in her skilled life, in an effort to assist forestall the terrifying state of affairs from befalling different mothers.

Oboro’s son, Tombra, was simply 48 hours previous when he needed to be rushed to the NICU, affected by a build-up of bilirubin, which causes yellow pores and skin and may result in everlasting injury and even dying.

The therapy is pretty easy and widespread in creating nations: blue-light phototherapy.

Virtue’s hospital had no phototherapy units, so Tombra needed to obtain a dangerous emergency blood transfusion. Her son would make a full restoration, however Virtue was modified by the expertise.

“I felt like some of the things I experienced could have been avoided,” the visible designer instructed 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 might a visible designer do? She designed the Crib A’Glow and named her new firm Tiny Hearts.

The transportable, deployable phototherapy unit is powered by the African solar, and prices one-sixth the worth of a traditional phototherapy crib—and manufactured in her homeland of Nigeria.


Virtue’s husband had some expertise working with photo voltaic panels earlier than, so he lent a hand to the visible designer, who was busy navigating the unknown waters of a brand new occupation. She labored with a pediatrician by way of the design course of to make sure all the small print would profit the tiny infants.

Two years in the past, Crib A’Glow picked up a $50,000 grant from Johnson & Johnson by way of the Africa Innovation Challenge, and the Crib A’Glow can now be present in 500 hospitals throughout Nigeria and neighboring Ghana. Already it has been used on 300,000 infants.

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Virtue, who has received quite a few awards for her work, says an extra 200,000 infants have been saved from jaundice by deploying the cribs to rural areas—no hospitals or electrical energy wanted.

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