Through our work with PATH, the team here at Drake Cooper has learned a lot about the state of healthcare in our world. Most recently, we learned of the dire need for oxygen therapy in many parts of the world. In the Fall of 2016, we created materials for PATH’s Elevating Oxygen initiative, which focuses on bringing oxygen therapy to children suffering from pneumonia, and other high-risk groups such as mothers during childbirth and persons with chronic respiratory illnesses.
Pneumonia is the deadliest infectious disease for children under the age of five. It kills more children around the globe than malaria, measles, and AIDS combined. Over 50% of these deaths occur in Asia and Sub-Saharan Africa, where resources are extremely limited. While pneumonia can be treated with antibiotics, in developing economies, pneumonia is often correlated with hypoxemia, a condition in which someone suffers from low blood oxygen levels.
Hypoxemia is particularly fatal when the patient is already struggling with pneumonia, as they already struggling to breathe and their blood is not providing the oxygen their body needs. Because of this, any antibiotics used on them are less effective. The best way to treat hypoxemia is with oxygen therapy. While oxygen is one of the most basic treatments that a healthcare facility can offer, it often falls by the wayside in struggling regions.
One of the best insights that came out of our Campaign Planning session with the PATH team was the following sentiment: Pneumonia is not a poor person’s disease, and oxygen shouldn’t be a rich person’s medication. Most of us know somebody that has had pneumonia at some time, but it is rare that we ever hear stories of fatalities caused by the disease. This is not the case in many parts of the world.
There are many complex reasons why oxygen is difficult to provide in these environments. In many countries, oxygen therapy is overlooked due to lack of funding, training, maintenance or supply. Our goal was to put oxygen back in the minds of those who have the power to create change, such as in-country healthcare providers, hospital administrators, and government officials.
— PATH (@PATHtweets) November 9, 2016
PATH teams then shared these materials with audiences around the world, encouraging them to save lives by supplying safe oxygen therapy to trained providers. The lives of up to 122,000 children, and thousands of pregnant women could be saved each year if oxygen treatment was readily available.
In the Spring of 2017, Drake Cooper will also assist PATH’s health advocacy team, as they push to have oxygen added to the World Health Organization’s Essential Medicines List as a treatment for hypoxemia. By adding oxygen to the list of Essential Medicines for the treatment of hypoxemia, normative policy guidelines will improve the access and availability of oxygen therapy in high-burden and low-resource regions around the world.
One of our core values of Drake Cooper is to be active and serving citizens in our community and the world at large. By educating ourselves on the pervasive healthcare and policy challenges around the world, we better accomplish the goals we set out to achieve as marketers and become better global citizens.