Publication date: 16 May 2022

Diamedica MD, Robert Neighbour joined the International Organization for Women and Development (IOWD)at the Kibagabaga hospital in Kigali, Rwanda last week (May 2022). The IOWD is an outstanding NGO that works tirelessly to provide free medical and surgical services for women and children in partnership with Rwandan maternal and child health experts.

The mission in hand for Robert was to ensure that the theatre and neonatal equipment was functioning correctly, whilst the IOWD team worked to resume essential and long-awaited surgery for fistula repair, which affects around 1 million women in Africa and is often a difficult treatment to access due to affordability.

During his time in the neonatal unit Robert’s attention was focused around the Diamedica CPAPs in situ within the unit and after assessing the useability of the equipment found that only minor maintenance was required. The CPAP machines are integral in supporting neonates in respiratory distress and as such they act as life-saving equipment to the neonate in which they are treating.

The hospital now has 6 life-saving CPAP machines within the neonatal unit, with IOWD recently kindly donating a CPAP machine and consumables.

To bolster the oxygen delivery available to multiple patients, 10-way oxygen flow-splitters were set up in the Neonatal unit to be used with oxygen concentrators. The flow-splitters are set up with tubing to individual stations to allow measured oxygen delivery based on the baby’s saturation (Sp02). These systems were supplied and donated by Diamedica and have been in place for almost 5 years, with all 3 systems working well.

Discussing his trip with the IOWD team Robert said:

“I have been to Rwanda with IOWD several times and each time I have been impressed by the groups first-class attitude and teamwork ethics. It’s admirable to observe the team of anaesthetists and surgeons work with and teach the Rwandan anaesthetists, surgeons and clinicians skills that they can use in the hospital for many years to come”

IOWD provides free specialised surgery to women and children and is presently operating their mission in Rwanda. The organisation has carried out over 2,200 surgeries for women who would not otherwise have received treatment. To read more about their achievements and how you can support them, please visit

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