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The George Institute for Global Health (TGI)

Engage communities, develop cost-effective scalable treatments in response to the pandemic

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COVID19’s impact on health systems and its workforce has caused substantial collateral damage worldwide due to disruptions in treatment, over burdening of health systems, and reductions in investments and infrastructure. Like other countries, India adopted a variety of measures to curb the spread of the virus, prevent health care systems from becoming overwhelmed and provide treatment to the critically ill. Alongside supporting government efforts, we responded to the pandemic by undertaking a relevant, innovative and impactful program of research, policy and implementation to find treatment, influence public health activities around awareness, prevention and cure and support communities where we work.

The George Institute for Global Health’s (TGI) mission is to improve the health of millions of people worldwide especially the disadvantaged populations. We aim to change the traditional ways of treating non-communicable diseases, providing the best evidence to guide critical health decisions, and engaging with decision makers to endorse real change.

Over time unhealthy diets, sedentary lifestyles and demographic transitions have caused diabetes, heart attacks, stroke, kidney failure etc. to become the leading causes of death and disability, accounting for over 70% of preventable deaths globally each year.

The Institute is globally pioneering improved treatments, better care, technologies and services to help address this disease burden. We are generating high-quality evidence to strengthen primary health care systems to tackle infections and chronic conditions, achieve universal health coverage, provide the best care and treatment to women, management of non-communicable diseases and address neglected health conditions. We work with 300,000 people across 20 states and 45 districts.

The research and projects are influencing policy and practice by engaging with the central and state governments, civil society organizations, communities and multilateral organizations like the WHO and the UN.

Current programs include:

Transforming primary health care to support better health
Providing the best care and treatments to women
Response to COVID-19 pandemic

Corroborating the Clinical Effectiveness and Safety of the 3D Printed Mask to Reduce the Need for Mechanical Ventilators and Save Lives.

TGI is seeking support to clinically test and validate the innovative 3-D printed masks by healthcare professionals in public and private hospitals in India. These masks provide oxygen to patients with severe respiratory illnesses who would otherwise need ventilators. It is easy to operate by non-skilled health workers and can reduce the need for ventilators by 25%.

The masks should help primary health care facilities and city hospitals better manage their caseloads. If only patients with advanced disease are put on ventilators, it will ease burden on tertiary care facilities; reduce patients’ out of pocket expenses and benefit large numbers of people.

3D-printed masks will augment emergency healthcare infrastructure in tier II/III cities to treat patients with COVID-19 or other respiratory illness.

3-D printed masks, is a solution that works on the same physiological principle of mechanical ventilators. These masks are:

Easy to fit on the patients face and provide positive end-expiratory pressure
Improve ventilation
No additional infrastructure or trained professionals required
Can be printed at point of care

Before recommending for routine clinical use, TGI proposes to clinically validate the effectiveness and safety of the masks to treat respiratory failure. They are collaborating with 4 private and public hospitals to identify potential participants in each sites and enroll them in 2 treatment regimen. At the onset of the project, necessary regulatory and ethics approval will be taken, and health workers will be trained. Assessments and analysis will be carried out by doctors at each site and high standard procedures will be followed to monitor activities.

If results are positive, then there will be quick health gains and cost saving for patients. Availability in Tier II/III hospitals as 3-D printing technology will allow large-scale production tailored to demand. Thus, reducing the dependence on scarce ventilators and cost of care.The team is composed of highly experienced clinical trial-lists, intensive care specialists and methodologists.

TGI needs US$91,000 for 12 months to conduct the clinical trial of the mask and prepare recommendations for routine clinical use.
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