In early March, an apparent Russian strike damaged and destroyed a hospital in Mariupol, a city in southern Ukraine. According to The New York Times, “seventeen people were injured, including staff members and maternity ward patients.”
Over 1,000 women give birth in Ukraine every day. Since the war started, hospitals are one of many necessary facilities being targeted. Because of the dangers of pregnancy and giving birth in a war zone, thousands of babies are being born with no health support, and in dangerous conditions. “Primarily, we are in need of transportable incubators for these babies who are in intensive care,” head of the Perinatal Center in Kharkiv, Ukraine, told Fox. “They are critically dependent on this equipment.” With little to no access to lifesaving resources, it is estimated that the premature birth rate has more than doubled in cities across Ukraine.
"Preterm and underweight babies aren't able to regulate their own body temperature; they require incubators to help them survive."
Embrace Global is a nonprofit whose mission focuses on one thing: saving babies around the world. “Infant mortality is one of the U.N. Millennium Development Goals that we have made the least progress on,” Co-Founder Jane Chen stated in a Fox News interview. “This has to be a priority.” And Embrace has made it a priority. How? With incubators. Incubators are usually used in Neonatal Intensive Care Units in hospitals. Essentially, an incubator for a baby is like a second womb, designed to protect and provide the best conditions for development. “Preterm and underweight babies aren't able to regulate their own body temperature; they require incubators to help them survive,” said Co-Founder Jane Chen. “Our products will help to give these babies a fighting chance.”
Photo of an Embrace Incubator being used in Nepal
Embrace has reinvented the incubator for those in need with less stable facilities. The Embrace incubator can maintain a constant temperature of 98 degrees for up to eight hours, and contains a wax-like material, which is melted to create a warm micro-environment for the baby and can be reheated thousands of times. This ground-breaking infant incubator costs less than 1% of a traditional incubator, is portable, and can function without stable electricity according to an Embrace Global press release. Embrace, which was historically supported by President Obama, has assisted over 350,000 babies in 22 countries.
Embrace has already sent 200 of their incubators to Ukraine, but right now, they are raising $600,000 in funds to donate 3,000 more. You can donate online, and raise awareness on social media platforms. The incubators will be donated to UNICEF, the World Health Organization, and other nonprofits, working on the ground in Ukraine.
Photo (Center): Courtesy of Embrace Global
Dakotah Jennifer is a senior at WashU who is ready to graduate. She started creative writing at eight and has loved it ever since. She loves watching bad TV, listening to music as much as possible, and making her opinions known. Jennifer has been published in Across the Margin, HerStry, Popsugar, The Pinch Journal, Voyage YA, JMWW, Protean Mag, Oral Rinse Zine, and Ripple Zine. She has also published two chapbooks, Fog (Bloof Books) and Safe Passage (Radical Paper Press).