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2019 Newsletter

Dec 23, 2019

Every minute, somewhere around the world, a surgical patient receives anesthesia care with the Universal Anaesthesia Machine (UAM). One minute, she may be a pregnant woman needing a reliable source of oxygen for an emergency C-section; another, he may be a young boy with appendicitis in need of safe anesthesia, perhaps even during a blackout. But every minute, in any circumstance, the UAM is used to ensure that patients receive safe, high-quality anesthesia care.  

As of 2019, the UAM has benefited more than 1 million of them.

The UAM functions in any environment because it is a durable, appropriately designed anesthesia machine. But the UAM thrives in these environments because it is supported by local teams of world-class technicians and clinicians who sustain its performance and optimize its impact on patients. This year—Gradian’s most transformative to date—demonstrated the power of those local partnerships and the breadth and depth of the programs they produce. Here are some of the year’s headlines:

Gradian surpassed 700 products installed in 2019, with rapid expansion into rural health centers in Tanzania and sustained growth elsewhere in East and West Africa.

The CCV is in regular use to ventilate patients during emergency air and ground transport
  • We eclipsed 30 countries of operation, expanding into Botswana, Burundi, Niger, and Guatemala.
  • The Gradian CCV represented 16% of our total product sales and 28% of our total product placements this year. Three sites—Mbarara Regional Referral Hospital (Uganda), St. Mary’s Lacor Hospital (Uganda), and Kilimanjaro Christian Medical Center (Tanzania)—now have at least four CCVs supporting their critical and emergency care practice.
  • We brought on distribution partners in Rwanda, Ethiopia, and Ghana to seed new market development.

With more diversification in the types of health providers using our equipment—and a growing number requiring more in-depth skills development—Gradian invested in high-fidelity simulation laboratories and a simulation-based curriculum to revolutionize what product training looks like in our markets.

Gradian’s clinical training team comprises leading anesthesiologists and critical care specialists from East and West Africa
  • A team of physicians from East and West Africa designed, piloted, and validated a user-centered simulation-based UAM training curriculum geared toward non-physician anesthesia providers and the skills they need to use the UAM safely, which has been accredited in multiple countries.
  • This team hosted Training of Trainers courses for physicians or residents from Tanzania, Uganda, and Zambia, bringing on a total of 50+ certified clinical trainers who have since led more than 30 simulation trainings across the continent.
  • Gradian inaugurated Anesthesia and Critical Care Simulation Laboratories at the Muhimbili University of Health and Allied Sciences (Tanzania), Kilimanjaro Christian Medical Center (Tanzania), and the University of Global Health Equity (Rwanda), with several others in development.
  • We trained more than 300 health providers in 2019, bringing our total to more than 1,000 all time.

As the UAM’s installed base has grown, so too has the demand for after-sales service support, so in 2019, Gradian established an Africa HQ in Nairobi to manage all service and logistics operations closer to our customers.

It was a busy year for Gradian service representatives, with installations, trainings, preventive maintenance checks, and repairs ongoing throughout the year
  • We brought on new staff in biomedical engineering, after-sales service, administration, finance, and logistics to streamline our operations.
  • We completed more than 250 service visits (preventive maintenance or repair) in 2019.
  • We certified more than 50 local biomedical technicians from 7 countries to maintain the UAM in the field.

Finally, 2019 was a year in which we had the honor to participate in some of the world’s most inspiring events and competitions that continue to fuel our passion for and commitment to this work.

  • This month, we won our biggest accolade to date: the Global Financing Facility’s “Innovation-to-Scale” prize—a $4+ million grant to bring our UAM simulation-based training and mentorship program to national scale in both Tanzania and Sierra Leone.

    Gradian staff with Anesthesia and Critical Care Delegates at the Women Leaders in Global Health conference
  • We also won an award—together with our Tanzanian distributor Kas Medics—from the Southern African Innovation Support network to integrate clinical refresher training into our after-sales service package for Tanzanian customers.
  • We had the opportunity to showcase the UAM and CCV at professional association meetings and other high-profile gatherings in Kenya, Uganda, Zambia, Nigeria, Rwanda, and Tanzania.
  • In November, we sponsored 11 esteemed Anesthesia and Critical Care Delegates to attend the Women Leaders in Global Health conference in Rwanda, where they joined women from around the world to advocate for gender equity and justice in global health.

We also reached our millionth patient supported! Check out our blog on this important milestone: Reaching One Million Surgical Patients: What It Means to Gradian

As we reflect on 2019, we are grateful to everyone who has helped shape, drive, strengthen, and amplify our work to serve patients around the world. We look forward to a new decade of growth and learning—one where, together, we can sustain the impact of life-saving technology and lift up the humans powering its performance. From the bottom of our hearts, thank you, and we wish you a wonderful holiday season.