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Zimbabwe| cervical cancer | VIA cervical | low cost | cervical | diagnosis
May 06, 2015

It always inspires us to talk with people like Dr. Lowell Schnipper, an oncologist who is running a cervical cancer detection initiative out of St. Albert's Mission Hospital in Zimbabwe. The work of this team emphasizes prevention, ultra low-cost methods and an emphasis on building local capacity. Cervical cancer hits women of childbearing age and puts families at risk of losing their mothers. We interview Dr. Schnipper here:

Can you set the stage for us? What was the standard of care for cervical cancer treatment and detection?

Until recently there has been very little cervical cancer screening in Zimbabwe. Fewer than 10% of women have have been in a regular program of cancer screening, and my guess is that most of these are in the private sector. Several years ago the Ministry of Health developed an ambitious plans for screening for cervical cancer throughout the country employing a technique called Visual Inspection with Acetic Acid and Cinematography (VIAC). There have been trainings for medical staff (physicians and nurses) across the country; to my knowledge the program has not been widely disseminated for reasons of lack of funding for appropriate personnel. Thus, one would say that the idealized standard of care in the country is to screen women between the ages of 21-65, but to my knowledge this has not happened except at the largest hospitals.

How many women do you see in the catchment area? What is the incidence and prevalence of...

ultrasound handheld Signos rural #maternalhealth
April 07, 2015

Providing high quality antenatal care for expectant mothers is a fundamental part of ensuring a safe delivery, and a healthy mom postpartum. In order to do that, some innovative products have been introduced for low resource settings. There’s no denying the importance of ultrasound technology during pregnancy. However, until fairly recently, it has been out of reach for many caregivers due to high cost, or complex application. We’re very pleased to announce: that has all changed.

Who’d have guessed that the invaluable insight provided by ultrasonic technology would be able to fit in the palm of your hand! ?The Signos-RT, a wildly effective handheld unit has both FDA approval and CE marking making it ideal for global adoption. We recently checked in with one of our most ambitious and remarkable friends, Jill Gerber, Nurse Practitioner, as she traveled into Haiti armed with the Signos-RT and asked her what she really thinks about this addition to the Maternova product portfolio.

Jill traveled to the Clinic of Mizak, located in Mizak, Haiti with the group HAPI (Haitian Artisans for Peace). This is what she had to say about the ease of use, and overall benefit of having access to such a miraculous device:

“We spent an afternoon training on the device, mainly focusing on the nurse midwife that would be utilizing it for her patients. The first time we used it on a patient was exciting for everyone in the room! I began demonstrating and then turned it over...

obstetric measure | SFH | fundal height | antenatal care
March 04, 2015

We are happy to announce a new partnership with a creative U.S. based team-- the folks at Mommy Measure. Mommy Measure uses the concept of fundal height as a way to empower pregnant women in the U.S. to track one of the parameters of pregnancy-- the growing belly!

Maternova has been working with Mommy Measure to translate this device into a variation useful for antenatal care settings in lower resource settings. The obstetric measuring tape can be used by midwives to identify pregnancies that may be at higher risk.

Though not a perfect measure, the symphysis-fundal height can be used to complement other methods of tracking pregnancies. Particularly useful in the second half of pregnancy, the fundal height measures, in centimeters, the length/height from the top of the woman's public bone to the top of the uterus. This measurement actually correlates with the weeks of gestation. Thus a measurement of 22 cm is approximately indicative of a normal pregnancy at 22 weeks (plus or minus).

The fundal height measurement, according to the literature, is most useful in terms of tracking a pregnancy over time-- does the height continue to increase every two weeks and correlate with the gestational age? If dramatically off, it MAY signify a problem that needs further exploration. For example, if the fundal height were dramatically lower than expected, it might signify intrauterine growth retardation (IUGR) and a risk of a low birth weight baby, for which...

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January 22, 2015

Knowing the electricity challenges in our rural communities, women in labor and the midwives finds it very difficult during delivery of the newborn.

Its been a trend that pregnant mothers are mandated to buy “Candles” as part of the listed items for delivery. The candle of course provides light in case labor comes at night. Where the mother is not able to buy the candle, the local lights known as “npanaka” used mainly by rural dwellers which produces dangerous fumes that causes carbon monoxide poisoning are regularly used. This local lights is known to be very dangerous to the health of the newborn , mother and health worker.

My fellow midwives and I have conducted many deliveries at night using all these which has many times engendered our health in the course of saving lives. we have complained and no one listened to us. You can imaging a health worker with history of asthma working with the candle and local lights? your guess is as good as mine.

As young minds we have searched and decided to create and look out for innovations that can remedy this situation, and has eventually found one.

We came across this noble innovation that replaces the suffering of health workers , mothers and newborn. Today we have a SOLAR CLIP DELIVERY LIGHTS with Visors. In partnership with our very own “Maternova” an organization that is using technologies to improve women health across the world.

We have...

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December 01, 2014

At Maternova, we consider ourselves incredibly lucky to have partners located around the world. Its these fearless entrepreneurs and philanthropists who make what we do so worthwhile, and in some cases possible. One of our favorite groups is Channel Initiative. Founded by Dominique Vidale-Plaza, they are shaking things up in the DRC and empowering women and children with sustainable healthcare. Not only is this incredibly brave, its desperately needed. Many medical clinics are days apart for foot travelers.

We wanted to see if our friends at Channel Initiative had an update for us on how they are progressing. This will be a two part series with todays entry covering both the needs of this vulnerable population along with some of the lessons Dominique and team have learned along the way. Enjoy!

Part 2 -- Lessons Learned and Moving forward

Lessons don’t ever stop in the Democratic Republic of Congo, and in most countries like it. They’re every day and sometimes every hour. Continuing to work with Panzi Hospital and Channel Initiative has brought many, many other opportunities for lessons and for coming to a place of deeper understanding on the complex needs of women and girls in the rural and under-served areas of the Democratic Republic of Congo.

It is obvious that there is a glaring need for health services in communities like these, that can ensure care to women and girls when they need it the most, when they are giving birth, when they have...

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November 10, 2014

Maternova is a women-owned, women-run, for-profit social enterprise founded by Allyson Cote and Meg Wirth, currently based in Providence, RI. The company uses its online marketplace, established in 2011, to sell innovative technologies directly to those who can use them to save the lives of mothers and infants in developing countries around the world.
Below, Allyson Cote discusses her company’s aspirations and business model, and the emerging competitive landscape in global health care products.

Kyle Poplin: Briefly describe what Maternova does and the global health problems it's solving.

Allyson Cote: Maternova Inc. is the scrappy upstart rockstar of the global public health world. We exist for one core reason: to ensure the medical innovations that will save women’s and newborn lives actually get into the hands of the caregivers. Annually, over 350,000 women and 2 million newborns die from complications at childbirth. My partner Meg and I think not only is that unacceptable, but it’s preventable. There is an enormous gap in the distribution chain surrounding low-cost, disruptive technologies. Entrepreneurs and inventors who create brilliant, sustainable solutions often see their work die on the vine. The path to commercialization for any new product can be complicated and lengthy. We offer a clear path for novel technologies to gain market share and recognition via the Maternova brand.

KP: Maternova has been described as "an Amazon-type...

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November 10, 2014

Maternova is a women-owned, women-run, for-profit social enterprise founded by Allyson Cote and Meg Wirth, currently based in Providence, RI. The company uses its online marketplace, established in 2011, to sell innovative technologies directly to those who can use them to save the lives of mothers and infants in developing countries around the world.
Below, Allyson Cote discusses her company’s aspirations and business model, and the emerging competitive landscape in global health care products.

Kyle Poplin: Briefly describe what Maternova does and the global health problems it's solving.

Allyson Cote: Maternova Inc. is the scrappy upstart rockstar of the global public health world. We exist for one core reason: to ensure the medical innovations that will save women’s and newborn lives actually get into the hands of the caregivers. Annually, over 350,000 women and 2 million newborns die from complications at childbirth. My partner Meg and I think not only is that unacceptable, but it’s preventable. There is an enormous gap in the distribution chain surrounding low-cost, disruptive technologies. Entrepreneurs and inventors who create brilliant, sustainable solutions often see their work die on the vine. The path to commercialization for any new product can be complicated and lengthy. We offer a clear path for novel technologies to gain market share and recognition via the Maternova brand.

KP: Matnernova has been described as "an Amazon-type...