We are delighted to support a new initiative from the University of Oxford, OxReach. OxReach plans to launch various projects over the next 12 months – the first of which is LIFE, who are developing ways for healthcare workers in Africa to correctly use the latest WHO care pathways in emergencies and save lives to help tackle newborn and child survival rates.

Prof Mike English is leading an Oxford team currently crowdfunding to raise at least £60,000 to build a “serious game” for saving lives. The team has reached 75% of the total with a week to go. Pledges of different sizes will receive rewards including a personal experience of the new HTC Vive with the HTC team themselves, and dinner at Oxford’s Green Templeton College

Prof English explained the importance of the campaign in the LANCET Global Health Blog this week:

“Medical emergencies are major causes of death globally, but any one health-care worker, especially in primary care or community settings, will rarely provide an emergency response.”

“At present, frequent face-to-face training for health-care workers is prohibitively expensive and difficult to access, meaning that many in remote settings are not using up to date practices. An online simulation called Life-saving Instruction For Emergencies (LIFE) may provide some of the solutions to combat these issues.”

“In Africa, 470,000 babies die each year on the day they are born, and this figure increases to 1 million deaths within the first 28 days, the neonatal period. The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that over two-thirds of these newborn deaths could be avoided through existing maternal and child healthcare programmes, if they were taught and implemented effectively.”

“We think we can help – LIFE is a serious game that will train health-care workers in Africa to act correctly in emergency scenarios and save lives.”

“We are raising £100,000 through crowdfunding to develop our first scenario, focusing on neonatal resuscitation for low-resource settings, and conduct extensive user testing in Oxford and Kenya.”

To find our more or donate please visit the campaign page at OxReach, Oxford’s crowdfunding platform – small or large donations are welcome, and you can follow them on Twitter @OxLIFEproject