2014 Innovators

A pool of almost 500 applicants was winnowed down to 52 finalists. We received applications from non-profit organizations, universities and university affiliates, and for-profit organizations submitting innovative solutions that cut across technology, service delivery, and demand.  From July 30-August 1, the finalists competed in the last stage of review at the Development XChange in Washington, DC. 

Organization Organization Location Project
Africare Washington, DC, USA

Africare is proposing to scale up an integrated package of maternal and newborn care interventions to increase demand for and access to quality services at birth. Targeted follow up by safe motherhood action group (SMAG) volunteers is facilitated by the use of an electronic tracking tool (CommCare) at health centers. The SMAG volunteers will provide linkages to other services such MWHs and motorbike ambulance to reduce barriers to access. The project will reach approximately 11,691 pregnant women in Kasama and Mpika Districts annually for three years with the integrated interventions.

Maternity Waiting Homes: Integrated Maternal and Child Health
ayzh, Health and Livelihood Private Limited Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India

Post-partum hemorrhage (PPH) is a leading cause of maternal mortality worldwide, responsible for one out of four maternal deaths and the suffering of more than eight of the 136 million women giving birth each year. Facility-based births have more than doubled to 55% of all births in India; however, these facilities lack trained staff, drugs and supplies needed to handle the rapid influx of births, especially in resource-poor settings, where women are at higher risk for death and disability from PPH.

Integrated Technology, Distribution and Training Solution for Post-partum Hemorrhage (PPH)
D-Rev: Design Revolution San Francisco, CA, USA

Every year, extreme hyperbilirubinemia affects 23M infants globally, 90% from developing nations. Untreated hyperbilirubinemia can cause permanent brain damage (kernicterus) or death, making it the 5th leading cause of infant mortality. While phototherapy is a simple and effective treatment, nearly all solutions are too expensive and unsuitable for low-resource hospitals where the need is dire.

Transition to Scale of Brilliance, Phototherapy to Prevent Brain Damage and Death from Severe Neonatal Jaundice in India
Duke University Durham, NC, USA

We propose transitioning the Pratt Pouch to scale in Zambia. We will train PMTCT healthcare workers in selected (42 of 72) districts, such that 80% of HIV+, pregnant, Zambian women at risk of delivering at home will receive antiretroviral drugs (ARVs) for their child. Approximately 200 pharmacists, 200 nurses and 400 lay counselors will be trained.

Scaling the Pratt Pouch for the Prevention of Transmission of HIV from Mother to Child
Institute of Primate Research Nairobi, Kenya

Pregnancy associated malaria results in poor pregnancy outcomes such as intra-uterine growth retardation (IUGR), stillbirths, premature and low birth weight (LBW, < 2,500 g) deliveries, and congenital and neonatal malaria which adversely affect neonatal survival. The standard practice involves antimalarial prophylaxis during pregnancy by intermittent preventive therapy (IPT) with sulfdoxine-pyrimethamine (SP). However, there is mounting concern about possible IPT failure due to escalating SP resistance and risk of severe SP toxicity.

NanoACT : a placenta-seeking nanoparticle containing artemisinin-lumefantrine
Instituto de Investigaciones Biologicas Clemente Estable Montevideo, Uruguay

Worldwide, almost 1 million babies die annually from birth asphyxia, 300.000 of them in Africa. There are no currently available pharmacological therapies for neonatal asphyxia. To fill this gap, we propose to administer to birth asphyxiated babies a nanosome preparation that has demonstrated in preclinical studies to be effective in the prevention of brain damage and control of hemodynamic shock, when given by intravenous route.

Preventing brain damage and hemodynamic shock after birth asphyxia.
Jacaranda Health Nairobi, Kenya

A high maternal mortality rate persists in peri-urban Kenya, at 700 deaths per 100,000 live births. The quality of facility-based care remains poor, and is recognized by the maternal health community as a significant barrier to improving maternal and neonatal outcomes. Jacaranda Health is a growing network of maternity hospitals building better systems for delivering affordable, high-quality care. We propose to craft a Lean Management-based quality improvement toolkit for use in low-resource settings like ours.

A Quality Improvement Toolkit to Improve Care Between Urban Communities and Facilities
Makerere University School of Public Health Kampala, Central Uganda

The essence of our idea is to develop a low cost simple technology that can be used by community health workers to identify low birth weight babies including preterm, and through facilitated referral link them to facility care. Complications of prematurity and low birth weight (LBW) are the number one leading cause of newborn deaths, up to 70% in some developing countries where almost half of the deliveries are at home.

An integrated low cost technology for identifying preterm/low birth weight babies and linkage to quality care in a rural setting
MAMTA Health Institute for Mother and Child New Delhi, India

India faces the daunting task of saving 3.6 million preterm babies annually. Early identification of pregnant women at risk of premature delivery could significantly reduce the number of preterm births, deaths and the disability burden. The project proposes to assess the validity and feasibility of an innovative, cost effective and non-invasive salivary progesterone test to predict preterm births among pregnant women in two rural districts of Madhya Pradesh, India, which have higher rates of prematurity and limited access to quality antenatal care and healthcare facilities.

Low-cost salivary progesterone testing for detecting the risk of preterm births in rural community settings of India
Management Sciences for Health Arlington, VA, USA

Poor access to quality maternal, newborn, and family planning services contribute to high maternal and neonatal mortality rates in Tanzania, particularly in hard-to-reach areas. In order to enhance access, Tanzania’s accredited drug dispensing outlets (ADDOs), which are often the first stop for health care, especially for rural women, must be better prepared to provide such lifesaving services. We propose validating an innovative model that combines enhanced training with mobile phone decision-support tools.

Innovative mHealth Approach to Improving the Quality of Maternal and Newborn Care in Tanzanias Private Sector Drug Shops
Micronutrient Initiative Ottowa, Ontario, Canada

“Recharging IFA-Calcium” seeks to reduce risks to maternal and newborn health posed by gestational iron deficiency anemia (low birth weight and very premature birth) and pre-eclampsia, by addressing low-adherence to and late uptake of WHO-endorsed gestational supplementation regimes of iron and folic acid (IFA) and calcium (Ca).

Recharging IFA-CA: Introducing maternal and newborn superpack to increase adherence and early uptake of IFA and Calcium
Moi University Eldoret, Rift Valley, Kenya

Stock-outs, misuse and misappropriations of essential drugs and supplies are leading contributors to facility-based maternal and newborn mortality. Worldwide facility-based mortalities account for 40-90% of all maternal deaths. In western Kenya, one third of all mortalities take place in hospitals, and less than 15% of facilities are equipped to perform basic Emergency Obstetric and Newborn functions. Without supplies always available and within reach and without providers ready to react and act, deaths from hemorrhage, eclampsia and maternal/newborn sepsis remain unacceptably high.

Lean Maternity: Optimizing the management of Obstetric and Neonatal Emergencies in Low-Resource Settings
Moi University College of Health Sciences Eldoret, Kenya

Worldwide, women and children in poor and rural communities face the challenges of pregnancy and infancy without supports in the home, community, or facility. It is no surprise that the majority of women struggle to care for their own and their children’s health. To address this, we have dared to build on the existing Three Delays Model, to tackle a critical 4th delay: the delay in a community’s accountability to its mothers and infants. We developed a peer-support model that groups pregnant and breastfeeding mothers to receive antenatal and postnatal services.

Chama for Change: Scaling-up an integrated community-based strategy of peer support in pregnancy and infancy
Nonwovens Innovation And Research Institute Ltd. Leeds, West Yorkshire, UK

This project looks to develop a low-cost blood collection system that enables donated blood to be separated into red cells and plasma under gravity. The separation of whole blood into its component parts allows the donation to be shared amongst several patients based on volume required, and, more importantly, allows the most appropriate component to be transfused to the patient.

Development of a low-cost, gravity fed blood separation unit
PATH Seattle, WA, USA

PATH proposes to develop a comprehensive set of mobile applications to support health care providers to more effectively manage women with severe preeclampsia and eclampsia (PE/E). The four applications will be designed as interactive job aids, guiding health care providers through four key components of care—anticonvulsive drugs, antihypertensive drugs, fluid administration, and timed childbirth: 1. Administration of loading and maintenance doses of magnesium sulfate (MgSO4); 2. Administration of antihypertensive drugs; 3. Administration of fluids; and 4.

Mobile Applications for Comprehensive Management of Preeclampsia and Eclampsia
PATH Seattle, WA, USA

Obstetric hemorrhage contributes to a significant proportion of maternal death and disability in Ghana. The project utilizes a postpartum hemorrhage (PPH) prevention and management strategy developed by in-country stakeholders, facilitated by PATH, and led by the Ghana Health Service. The proposed project will undertake a controlled introduction of an innovative technology-intervention bundle for the prevention and management of PPH.

An Integrated Program for Postpartum Hemorrhage Prevention and Management in Ghana
Plan International USA, Inc. Washington, DC, USA

Preeclampsia is the leading cause of maternal death in Nepal and daily calcium consumption has been proven in a clinical setting to reduce preeclampsia. Unfortunately, daily consumption of calcium is not typical in rural and disadvantaged communities in Nepal. In order to improve calcium distribution, delivery methods must be community-based and combined with behavior change strategies.

Testing Calcium Supplementation Through Community Based Service Delivery Mechanisms to Prevent Preeclampsia
RAND Corporation United States

In Nyanza Province, Kenya, of every 1000 live births, 5 mothers and 39 newborns die, largely because of underdeveloped systems to distribute information, goods, and services to poor women. With a stage 2 SL@B seed grant we implemented an integrated program to address the interrelated factors leading to poor maternal and infant health. On the service-delivery side, we provided Helping Mothers Survive and Helping Babies Breathe training to health providers and emergency obstetric and hygiene supplies to clinics.

Increasing Antenatal Service Use at Scale: Are service-delivery improvements or demand-creation incentives more effective?

Pregnant women and newborns in sub-Saharan countries face unequal access to qualified health professionals and quality care, especially in rural communities. This has severe consequences on maternal and child mortality. Innovative solutions are urgently needed to save their lives This project aims to scale-up two promising interventions: 1) task delegation in obstetrical echography and 2) mobile technology to increase neonatal consultation in women who gave birth and follow-up of children under 5.

Information and communication technologies to support equity access to maternal and child care: EQUI-Transition
Silk Route Training and Research Organization Kabul, Afghanistan

The essence of our idea is perfecting and field testing Mareezbar (Patient Carriage), a low cost, versatile and universal mean of transporting maternal cases to health facilities to overcome the second delay in receiving maternal care, the most important one in Afghanistan. The second delay in the Three Delays Model originates from: 1) unavailability of and cost of transportation; 2) long distance to health centers and hospitals; 3) poor roads; 4) difficult geography e.g. mountainous terrain, rivers; and 5) and inadequate of referral systems.

Mareezbar (Patient-carriage) - a varsatile all-terrain carriage for transporting maternal cases to health facilities
Simavi Haarlem, the Netherlands

In the Upper East region, Ghana, effective ANC delivery is hampered by low quality services and delayed ANC attendance by pregnant women, meaning high-risk pregnancies are not identified and treated in time. To tackle this problem and reduce maternal mortality, Simavi proposes combining group ANC with a non-invasive testing kit to diagnose (pre)eclampsia and anemia thus identifying high-risk pregnancies during outreach and in community health centers.

Check2gether: Ensuring healthier pregnancies through testing and group care
Vanderbilt University Nashville, TN, USA

Many recent studies have concluded that detecting the presence of multiple biomarkers at once is most promising for predicting and diagnosing preeclampsia rapidly and at the point-of-care (POC). Therefore, developing affordable and effective multiplexed tests will improve maternal health and pregnancy outcomes. Our idea is to develop a simple, rapid, and low-cost method for detecting combinations of preeclampsia biomarkers to enable early detection at the POC in Zambia and other LMICs.

Enhanced Lateral Flow Assay for Detecting Combinations of Preeclampsia Biomarkers