New ideas can us strike in the most unusual times and places: In the shower, driving, or while shopping at the store. Regardless of where or when ideas turn up we sometimes forget about them as quickly as we thought of them – maybe because we think turning our ideas into reality is impossible.
What if our ideas could be realized? What if our ideas are exactly what this world needs?
The problem: every two minutes, a woman dies in childbirth. Women in sub-Saharan Africa are 136 times more likely to die than women in western countries due to poor access to quality care, electricity, clean water, adequate transportation, and trained health professionals. With such a wide variety of factors, there are countless possibilities for improvement, and that is where YOUR ideas could come into play.
Saving Lives at Birth: A Grand Challenge for Development is on the lookout for the best and brightest of ideas to help create groundbreaking prevention and treatment practices for pregnant women and newborns in hard-to-reach communities. The project came to fruition through the collaboration of The U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), the Government of Norway, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Grand Challenges Canada, the U.K.’s Department for International Development (DFID), and the Korea International Cooperation Agency (KOICA).
Saving Lives is in its sixth round of searching for the most creative and innovative solutions to the challenges faced by moms and newborns at their most critical hours. The first five rounds have seen 92 ideas funded, that have benefitted 1.5 million women and newborns, and saved more than 7,000 lives.
Previous challenge innovators have included:
- Jorge Odon – the Argentine car mechanic who created a device to help deliver babies safely;
- Jacaranda Health’s team of doctors and healthcare workers who are providing low-income women with access to quality maternal healthcare and family planning across Kenya;
- And a Duke University team of students who developed the Pratt Pouch – a fast food ketchup-like packet that can prevent transmission of HIV in the hours after birth.
Now’s the time to put your ideas into action! How can women and newborns be safer and healthier in their most vulnerable hours? How can they go on to live healthy lives? How can these problems be addressed in an affordable way?
With so much success already through this program, we know there are more out-of-the-box ideas to be found. So put on your thinking caps (or take a shower, a drive, or go to the store) and share your ideas by applying to have your idea funded and put into action. Your ideas could help save the lives of women and newborns around the globe.
Take Action Challenge
What’s your brilliant idea? There’s plenty of time to submit your idea before the application deadline of February 29 (2:00 p.m. EST). Browse past rounds of the grand challenge for development finalists here.