The Challenge

More than 1.5 billion people across the world lack access to medical facilities with capable surgical instrument sterilization equipment. Approximately 17 million deaths a year are attributed to unsafe surgery conditions, with 1 out of 3 patients in the developing world suffering from post-operative infections.

The Project

Noor Medical, a startup based in Freiburg, Germany, is working to provide equipment to sterilize medical instruments and ensure safe surgery in rural and off-grid medical clinics. Their product is called the Hybriclave, which sterilizes medical instruments and is powered using solar thermal, thermal, and electricity energy inputs.

Their mission is to provide the critical sterilization of medical equipment for rural health clinics — with a 2025 goal of positively impacting 20 million lives.

The Motivation

“Our team got together during our graduate program at the University of Freiburg. We were all involved in entrepreneurial activities and found out that our complementary skills can help us achieve our shared vision of improving access to safe surgery,” says Laila Berning, co-founder and CEO at Noor Medical. Adds Saji Zagha, co-founder and CMO at Noor Medical: “When I co-managed the construction of an Adventist Health International clinic in Chad, I learned about the lack of access to safe surgery. A couple of years later, this became my primary motivation to build Noor Medical.”

The Progress

Noor Medical was a finalist for the Hult Prize, a social-impact business accelerator, and presented their work at the United Nations headquarters in New York City in September 2018. (Earth Day Network’s President, Kathleen Rogers, serves on the executive judging committee for Hult Prize.)

Noor Medical plans to host a pair of government-industry summits in 2019, along with Gabrielle Gay (Executive Director of the Schumpeter Center) and Philip Auerswald (co-founder and Director of Innovation for the Schumpeter Center), with a focus on using market-based models to make safe surgery a global reality in the next decade.

More on their website: www.noor-med.com

Photo credit: Aniela Lea Schafroth

About EDN’s Spotlight Feature: We are always excited to hear about project to address environmental issues and help communities. While it wouldn’t be possible to feature every good project, we are taking time to shine a spotlight on select examples, with the hope of inspiring others. You can share your environmental projects for consideration by emailing us at [email protected] and/or tagging us in photos on social media.