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Woman creates special mattress to help babies with breathing problems

Shared by Ana Duarte on 2019-09-04 10:41

About the solution

“My intention was to study but when I reached the UK, I saw an opportunity to work first so that I get some money for tuition. I, therefore, started working as a nanny in a home and this helped me raise money for fees,” she explained.

While working as a nanny, Jacqui realised that a lot of babies aged under six months had problems breathing while sleeping.

While studying, she also started doing research on this subjecting, in order to try to understand what could be causing these problems, which result in regurgitation and sometimes the Sudden Death Syndrome. Eventually, she realised that the main cause of the breathing problems was the flat mattress that babies sleep on. These mattresses compress the baby’s trachea, hence blocking the smooth passage of air, which causes difficulty in breathing and regurgitation.

Once the problem was identified, the woman set out to create a solution. So built two designs: a raised soft pillow on one end of the mattress. The pillow is inclined to create a clear passage in the trachea so that the baby can breathe well. And a soft mattress with special foam made for babies, with a depression to enable the baby to feel comfortable when they are sleeping, as well as to reduce the flatness of the mattress. The concept behind these designs is to imitate the baby’s position while inside the womb.

After 20 years, the product passed all international tests for baby products in the UK. The inventor was also able to bring her solution back to Uganda in 2015, as there was no proper mechanism there of how newborn babies would be made to sleep and rest comfortably.

"In the UK, each mattress costs £160 (about sh770,000), but we know this is expensive for our local consumers here. So we are working out a plan on how to reduce the price for local consumers. I used my personal savings to come up with this innovation and I have reached a level where my innovation has been globally patented. This is an innovation by a Ugandan and I hope partners, especially Government, can come on board and we make this innovation a reality”, the inventor added.

For now, production of the mattresses is done in the UK. The unit cost of production for each mattress is valued at £70.

Adapted from: https://bit.ly/2ZJSu0a

This solution shall not include mention to the use of drugs, chemicals or biologicals (including food); invasive devices; offensive, commercial or inherently dangerous content. This solution was not medically validated. Proceed with caution! If you have any doubts, please consult with a health professional.

About the author

Jacqui Nancey Sebuyira, from Uganda, is a midwife with a bachelor of science in midwifery from Thames Valley University who lives in the UK. She built a special mattress after realising some babies had breathing problems during sleep.

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