“It was my first night as an intern and three children died before my eyes. I felt so helpless that I cried.”
In 1996, Dr Mohammod Jobayer Chisti was working in the paediatric department of the Sylhet Medical College Hospital in Bangladesh. That evening he made a promise that he would do something to stop children dying from pneumonia.
About 920,000 babies and small children die from the disease each year, mostly in South Asia and Sub-Saharan Africa.
After two decades of research, Dr Chisti has now come up with a low-cost device with the potential to save thousands of babies’ lives.
Pneumonia affects the lungs after infections from bacteria like streptococcus (strep throat) or a virus such as respiratory syncytial virus (RSV). The lungs become swollen and fill with fluid or pus, reducing their ability to take in oxygen.
In developed countries hospitals use ventilators to help children with pneumonia to breathe. …
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