Nilima Achwal

Reinvent Maternal Health: It’s a Challenge

ABC News, The Lemelson Foundation, and Duke Global Health Institute recently teamed up to launch the Reinventing Maternal Health challenge. Targeted to university students, this challenge seeks to find the most innovative, impactful idea that will prevent thousands of women from dying in childbirth across the globe.

Maternal mortality is a serious problem across the world, with 350,000 women dying each year of complications due to childbirth. In 2005, about 1,500 women died every day due to complication in pregnancy or childbirth, according to the WHO. The majority of women in the developing word-especially Sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia-do not have access to a skilled attendant at the time of birth and often die of preventable causes: severe bleeding, infection, and obstructed labor, among others. This a travesty-many of these women are forced to give up their own lives in their teens or 20s in order to give life, and their children grow up motherless.

That’s why they need your creativity and imagination. You may devise a way to improve health care delivery. You might invent new piece of technology uniquely tailored to low-tech clinics or home deliveries. Otherwise, you can come up with a new method altogether to revolutionize maternal health. As a NextBillion reader, you possess a unique and rare skillset to share with the world-knowledge of current BoP solutions, a readily available community of like-minded colleagues, and sometimes even field experience. This is a power combination-and all you have to do is submit a 5-minute video explaining your idea.

If you win, you will receive $10,000, as well as mentorship support in the development, marketing and distribution process from experts in the field. For more information about the Challenge, click here or see Entries will be accepted through April 29, 2011.

You could hold the solution to maternal deaths worldwide. Just try it.

Please become a NextBillion Facebook fan and follow us on Twitter.

Health Care
Base of the Pyramid, public health