Bilikit: A Systems-integrated Approach for Diagnosis and Treatment of Neonatal Jaundice

INMED Partnerships for Children/INMED Andes
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Morbidity and mortality from newborn jaundice (hyperbilirubinemia) due to disease under-recognition and lack of local access to treatment are a significant threat in resource-constrained regions in Peru. Despite the fact that jaundice is nearly always curable with high-intensity phototherapy, newborns will continue to remain at risk for poor jaundice outcomes until integrated screening and diagnostic programs that work in conjunction with improved access to phototherapy treatment are deployed within regional health networks. INMED proposes filling the gaps at each of these touchpoints in jaundice management by introducing the Bilikit, a comprehensive package of screening (Jaundice Ruler), quantitative diagnostic (Bilistick®) and phototherapy treatment (Bili-Hut™) innovations appropriate for the resource-constrained context. Each of these innovations was independently developed and validated with previous support from the Saving Lives at Birth program, and function synergistically as a novel, holistic approach to jaundice management. INMED will introduce the Bilikit in a minimum of two distinct resource-constrained regional health systems (e.g., highlands, jungle). Saving Lives at Birth funding will be used to avert treatment delay and improve diagnostic and treatment capacity at downstream hospitals, and to train community health agents to screen infants and improve referral decisions. INMED will assess the impact of implementing the Bilikit using a cluster-randomized trial, and will standardize diagnostic coding to provide a reliable figure for the overall burden of disease and its severity and improve health-system resource allocation.

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