ALIMA (The Alliance for International Medical Action), together with Terres des hommes, Solthis and Inserm, is committed to promoting the integration of pulse oximeters into the primary health consultations of children under five to help reduce infant mortality in four countries of intervention: Guinea, Mali, Burkina Faso, and Niger.

Pneumonia and its complications are one of the leading causes of death in children under the age of five in West Africa. 

Making pulse oximeters available at primary health centers and training health workers to accurately identify signs of respiratory distress during consultations for children under five can help save the lives of many children.

The AIRE project, funded by Unitaid, aims to demonstrate the effectiveness and acceptability of the pulse oximeter.

See our 2021 annual bulletin 

Enfant moins de 5ans

407 000

children under five to attend consultations

Centre de santé


health centers equipped with pulse oximeters

Formation du personnel soignant


health workers trained in Integrated Management of Childhood Illness and the use of the pulse oximeter



Hospitals equipped with oxygen extractors

Intervention strategy

At community level

  • Training community health workers on identifying danger signs in children under the age of five
  • Raising community awareness of danger signs in children under five and encouraging early use of health services

At health center level

  • Training healthcare workers in using pulse oximeters
  • Providing medicines and consumables for the care of children under five
  • Joint supervision of activities by health districts and project teams

At hospital level

  • Continuous support of pediatric wards with medicines, consumables and oxygen for adequate care of referred children
  • Monitoring hospital activity (number of children referred from health centers)

Expected outcomes


Health districts in the project countries are equipped with and use pulse oximeters during pediatric consultations at primary health care level, and communities are better informed and motivated to seek timely health care


Project evidence is generated through research using mixed methods to evaluate processes (acceptability, implementation fidelity, realistic evaluation).


Project countries are ready to use pulse oximeters on a large scale, and the dissemination of evidence generates a regional commitment to their integration at primary health center level in West African countries

Areas of intervention


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Cover picture © Julien Mutanganwa/ ALIMA

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