Project SummaryReduces preventable infant and maternal mortality in South Asia by delivering life-saving care and education bundles to mothers and newborns in need.
ProblemEvery year almost 5 million infants die and almost 300,000 women die around the time of childbirth and in the post-partum period. A large fraction of these deaths are concentrated in South Asia. The major causes of mortality are well-understood and can be managed via proven and affordable public health interventions, however issues of affordability, access, and education prevent mothers and infants from getting this basic care. Known, feasible, evidence-based interventions such as thermal care and clean delivery kits can prevent more than two-thirds of neonatal deaths but this can only be achieved if the interventions are welcomed and used appropriately by target populations, integrated into their existing health services regimen, and provided sustainably. Too often interventions overlook how to generate demand for interventions to maximize their intended impact, how to integrate with the existing health system, and how to deliver care in a cost-effective way.
SolutionInspired by the internationally renowned Finnish Baby Box, Barakat Bundle is a package of evidence-based commodities for newborn health coupled with demand generating items for mothers and newborns to incentivize care seeking around childbirth and the post-partum period. Receipt of a Bundle, which is delivered through existing healthcare infrastructure, is conditional on mothers giving birth in a health centre to ensure access to skilled birth attendants (a proven method of lowering mortality rates). The Bundle includes 1) medical items targeting major causes of maternal and infant mortality; 2) appropriate health education; with 3) a desirable safe-sleep cradle. Barakat Bundle is affordable (provided for a nominal fee to health clinics), accessible (delivered directly within local communities), and educational. It also addresses poverty by procuring items when appropriate from local artisan groups and women’s vocational training centers (e.g. the Self Employed Women’s Association).
AskWe are seeking USD310,000 grant to be used for the following purposes:
- A grant of $100,000 to launch a Buy One-Give One e-commerce platform called The Giving Cradle (with the potential to become a for-profit subsidiary) selling our safe-sleep cradle in the US and Canada at a premium to achieve financial sustainability for our non-profit arm in South Asia. The funds would be used to implement a marketing strategy (25%), operational costs (30%) and a founder’s salary (45%).
- A transition to scale grant to fund a cluster randomized controlled trial to quantify the effectiveness of Barakat Bundle at achieving improvements of health outcomes. The cost of the trial is estimated to be USD $420,000 of which $150,000 has already been secured and $60,000 will be co-funded by our partners. We are requesting $210,000 to support the remainder. The data from this trial will allow us to partner with state ministries of health to catalyze our pathway to scale in public health facilities beyond partnering with individual NGOs.