Low cost, needle-free and non-refrigerated treatment for PPH
Drugs are available to prevent bleeding after giving birth (postpartum haemorrhage). However, current products are poorly suited to transportation, storage or administration in resource-poor countries. The drug of choice for treatment of postpartum haemorrhage is oxytocin, which is given via injection. This presents complications in developing countries, where it is often not possible to provide sterile equipment, clean water or trained medical personnel during childbirth. Also, the current injectable formulation needs electricity for refrigerated (cold-chain storage) conditions to prevent drug degradation and hence maintain drug efficacy. This project will involve the development of a novel aerosol delivery system for oxytocin that can be inhaled by patients from a simple, disposable device immediately after childbirth. This approach will remove the need for sterile conditions and trained health workers for administration of oxytocin. It will eliminate the risk of needle-stick injuries, transmission of blood-borne viruses and the costs associated with disposal of sharps and biohazard waste materials, as well as provide a more stable formulation of the drug that does not require cold-chain storage. This project will lead to increased access to proven evidence-based strategies for the prevention and treatment of post-partum haemorrhage for women in remote, rural communities. The product will be low-cost and have an immediate, substantial impact on maternal mortality and is not dependent on material resources, electricity, clean water or transportation to hospitals.