Pulse Oximetry Display

Global Pulse Oximetry Initiative

MF is working with Harvard School of Pubilc Health to implement the World Health Organisation (WHO) Global Pulse Oximetry Project. The intention of the initiative is to provide a pulse oximeter (which non-invasively measures oxygen levels in the blood) to every operating theatre in the world.

Zambia was selected as one of the first countries to implement this programme in parallel to the 'Safe Surgery Checklist' as a pilot study. Harvard School of Public Health are carrying out this pilot study and asked Mercy Flyers to assist them with this programme in Zambia. We are working with the team from Boston to educate Anaesthetists in Zambia in how to use this equipment and how to interpret the numbers it presents. There are skills needed to be able to problem-solve appropriately when the monitor shows falling oxygen concentrations in the blood. The delivery of these monitors (11 of them provided by the WHO) opens the opportunity to teach the staff all of the issues around oxygen delivery and its complications in the surgery setting.

We believe this will significantly reduce anaesthetic related morbidity and mortality in Zambia. Preliminary results from the Harvard study (in Maldova) have shown a 40% reduction in low oxygen levels measured in the blood by these oximeters through the duration of this study.

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