Zubaida Bai explains how a simple process could save mothers across the world.
The research journey begins
In six minutes, she explains, three mothers will lose their lives while delivering due to severe complications, teenage motherhood complications or inaccessibility to clean basic tools for delivery. More than a million mothers die every year due to lack of clean basic delivery tools.
She explained how she encountered a traditional midwife and on further interrogation, the midwife showed her the agricultural tool that she used to separate mother and baby. She was left dumb-folded reflecting on her own infections besides having the best medical care and her father who lost his mother at birth.
The change process
She embarked on a research process where she was thrilled to find that there was indeed a Clean Birth Kit. The kits were available based on funding availability, on getting hold of one, it was more shocking news. She shared the sentiment with several women who declared they could never use it for delivery as it could cause more infections.
The blade was similar to one used by man for shaving and the thread was a highway to bacterial infection via the umbilical cord. This was used even in the institutions as well as homes.
Bai embarked on designing a feedback process, developing prototypes and engaging with other stakeholders researching globally. The result was the women valued greatly health and wellbeing despite the poor conditions.
The birth of janma
After several interactions with experts, the women and medical professionals, a simple but beautiful design was born. The new kit, janma, cost $3, only a dollar more the initial one.
Janma means birth and come with blood absorbing sheet for the mother, surgical scalpel, a bar of soap, cord clamp, a pair of gloves as well the first cloth to wipe the bay with. It also comes packaged in a beautiful pulse as a gift to the mother for all her hard work.
The women were overly excited and very appreciative. The kit has impacted more than 600,000 mothers and their babies throughout the world.
However the health issues do not end here. There many simple challenges requiring low cost interventions. Facts are available indicating that investing in mothers and giving them better healthcare, they will lead to healthier, wealthier and prosperous communities. Start by introducing simplicity and dignity to their health issues.