About 1 in 4 people in Swaziland are infected with HIV, so preventing mother-to-child transmission (PMTCT) is an essential strategy in reducing the country’s burden of HIV/AIDS. To achieve this however, pediatricians working in Swaziland and other low income settings underscored the need for a simple tool to enhance the dosing accuracy of liquid antiretroviral (ARV) regimens.
In response, undergraduates at Rice 360º, the prolific Institute for Global Health Technologies at Rice University, developed the DoseRight™ Syringe Clip. These color-coded, low-cost clips are inserted into an oral dosing syringe, limiting the amount of liquid that is dispensed and dramatically increasing the likelihood of accurate dosing. Using DoseRight™, mothers can effectively administer ARVs to themselves and their children.
We’ve featured some of Rice 360º’s global health technologies in our Innovation Index, including the salad spinner centrifuge and the OB/GYN Lab-in-a-Backpack. However, what distinguishes the DoseRight™ clip is the way this technology was so rapidly deployed at the national level. In August, Swaziland’s Ministry of Health began distributing more than 200,000 dosing clips as part of its PMTCT Program.
This is the largest rollout yet of a global health technology developed by Rice 360º’s undergraduate students, who were also instrumental in securing DoseRight™’s nationwide dissemination. Rice students worked for two years to build an alliance among the Swazi Ministry of Health, the Clinton Health Access Initiative, and 3rd Stone Design, which has facilitated the distribution, funding and manufacturing of the dosing clips.
So many technologies stop at the student design stage despite extensive research and good links with a facility or Ministry in a low-income country. This is a terrific example of a full rollout that occurred quickly. Watch an instructional video or a video showcasing the clips on Rice 360º’s website!
In April, former President Bill Clinton honored Rice students for their innovation in developing the clips and their dedication in achieving its swift uptake at the national level.