Deadline extended: Submit your innovation to Saving Lives at Birth

There is still time to enter Saving Lives at Birth: A Grand Challenge for Development, a call for interventions in three categories that can leapfrog existing products and conventional approaches. Submissions should address key obstacles in improving newborn survival:

Technologies: There is a lack of medical technologies appropriate for the community or clinic setting.

  • Examples include simpler or portable technologies for newborn resuscitation, feeding, warming, and care of preterm and low birthweight newborns, infection management, and prevention and treatment of hypertensive disorders like preeclampsia/eclampsia.

Service Delivery: There are not enough well trained staff located with the right places.

  • Examples may include new ways of using to improve health and health care delivery in rural areas, approaches that bring the benefits of fixed health systems to the community setting, new incentive plans for recruiting and retaining skilled personnel, training programs for community-based or alternative health workers, or better ways to refer and transport sick newborns and mothers with complications. For instance, information and communication technology (ICT) programs that work to improve maternal and child health.

Demand: Mothers in resource-poor settings often lack information about what services they need, what they can do, and what a difference it can make to access health care or adopt healthy behaviors.

  • Examples may include innovative use of Information and computer technology (ICT) to incentivize individuals to seek care and/or adopt healthy behaviors; or mass communication methods that can change individual and collective behavior to improve outcomes around the time of birth. For instance, these programs working to change consumer behaviors to improve maternal and child health.

This Grand Challenge is a collaboration between USAID--it was announced last month by Raj Shah and Hillary Clinton--the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Grand Challenges Canada, and the World Bank.

Melinda Gates's comments highlighted the group's faith in the potential of new technology to improve age-old problems. "Innovation bends the curve of history," she said.

Raj Shah emphasized that the solutions should be practical for resource-poor communities and that they should be able to quickly go to scale.

Learn how to apply here -- be sure to do so by May 6!