Calling all innovators: Do you have an “audacious but achievable” idea to prevent or treat the causes of maternal and neonatal deaths?
If so, then it’s time to prepare an application for the second round of grants for the Saving Lives at Birth: A Grand Challenge for Development.
USAID, Norway, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Grand Challenges Canada, and the World Bank have released a request for applications to award $18 million in Saving Lives at Birth grants in fiscal year 2012.
The aim of the innovative Saving Lives at Birth is to decrease maternal and neonatal deaths in the poorest parts of the world. An estimated 2.6 million stillbirths, 3.1 million neonatal deaths, and 360,000 maternal deaths occur globally each year, signaling a major gap for interventions specifically around childbirth and the early postnatal period.
As history has shown us repeatedly, enabling people to access science and technology saves lives and improves wellbeing. Saving Lives at Birth is asking innovators from around the world to innovate in three major areas: appropriate medical technologies, improved service delivery, and demand-creation for empowering women and their families to access health care. Solutions should aim to be daring, scalable, low-cost and, most importantly, sustainable. Monitoring and evaluating process are also vital.
In 2011, more than 600 submissions were received and in July the 77 finalists from non-profit organizations, universities, and social enterprises worldwide convened at DevelopmentXChange in Washington D.C to share ideas. At the end of the meeting, 21 seed grants and three of the larger transition-to-scale grants were awarded.
Seed grants were awarded to an array of innovations, all exciting and promising in their own way. From Toronto, Canada, to Eldoret, Kenya innovators were coming up with ideas from micro-health franchise systems to IT services in rural clinics. The innovators themselves had a vote, and chose their favorite entry: A novel way to give women oxytocin to stop fatal bleeding after childbirth, without requiring needles or even medicine refrigeration. This Monash University prototype also impressed the judges and has received a seed grant.
So, do you and your organization have a maternal and neonatal health innovation you want to share with the world? This could be your opportunity to collaborate, gain exposure, and perhaps receive a grant. Take advantage of this exciting opportunity and apply. Women and babies deserve the best of science, technology and health service delivery, and with Saving Lives at Birth you could make that a reality.