13 Aug 2012

Hope sterile incubators will save young lives

5:10 am on 13 August 2012

The inventor of a new high-tech, low maintenance baby incubator for use in developing countries, says he's hoping to run trials of the prototype in Pacific climates in his quest to give thousands of fragile babies a better chance at life.

Sir Ray Avery says he's seen tap water being substituted for sterile water to humidify traditional incubators in poor nations, which he says is like putting babies into a concoction of bacterial porridge.

He says the new Liferaft incubator he's designed will give babies an environment of constant sterile air and keep a stable temperature in a wide range of climates.

Sir Ray says he's hoping to field test the new invention in Samoa and the Cook Islands early next year.

"We think that one incubator over its life span will save between 25,000 and 30,000 children. That's over the prescriptive ten year life span. And so we think that's a very good investment for fifteen hundred dollars. I think the worst thing that I see in countries that I visit, is lives that are finished before they've begun and not had an opportunity at life."