A brief conversation at a conference in 2008 set Bob Malkin, a biomedical engineering and global health professor, on a mission to fight mother-to-child HIV transmission in low-resource settings. A few years later, he and his students had developed one of the most heralded global health innovations to come out of Duke: the Pratt Pouch, named after Duke’s engineering school.
The pouch—a small, almost weightless, foilized packet similar to a ketchup packet—preserves a single dose of antiretroviral medicine for up to a year. A mother can squeeze its contents into her baby’s mouth in the critical hours, days and weeks after their birth, reducing the baby’s risk of contracting the disease by up to 40 percent.
Our new multimedia feature, “This Petite Pouch Packs a Punch,” tells the story behind the innovation—from the early days in the lab to Malkin’s current vision for the future of the pouch:
Click on the image to view the multimedia feature.
The women who have used the pouch are empowered. It has helped them see themselves not as a victim but as powerful and capable of saving their child from this disease.Humberto Mata, Pratt Pouch partner in Ecuador