Indian engineer Nitesh Kumar Jangir was awarded Commonwealth Secretary-General’s Innovation for Sustainable Development Awards 2019. He was awarded for development of Saans, a low-cost breathing support device for premature babies.
It is breathing support device used for tackling avoidable deaths of premature babies from Neonatal Respiratory Distress Syndrome (RDS). It is world’s first neonatal Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) device. It can be powered in multiple ways viz. through direct source electricity, including rechargeable battery, vehicle’s electrical supply, compressed gas, or even manual air pumping.
Significance: It is low-cost device having great potential to tackle situation of erratic power supply conditions. It is at least three times cheaper than any other such machine and can be used without any complex training.
Commonwealth Secretary-General’s Innovation for Sustainable Development Awards
They are awarded based on impact or potential of innovations to advance one or more of 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in Commonwealth countries and at same time advancing values in Commonwealth Charter. The awards are divided along five thematic categories viz. improving the lives of People; boosting prosperity; protecting planet, promoting peace; and building partnerships for development in the Commonwealth.
Eligibility: They are open to Commonwealth citizens and Commonwealth countries (53 sovereign states) based organisations from public, private or even voluntary sectors