The Latest from our Blog

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March 09, 2012

Infection with group B streptococcus (GBS) is one of the leading causes of newborn morbidity and mortality worldwide—causing septicemia, pneumonia, meningitis, hearing loss, developmental disability and death. Unrelated to group A streptococcus (which causes strep throat), GBS is present in approximately 1 in 4 women and typically causes no symptoms in the mother. However, the bacteria can be transmitted to the infant during delivery unless women receive intravenous antibiotics during labor.

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February 22, 2012

In 2005, India launched the largest conditional cash transfer program in the world with its Janani Suraksha Yojana (JSY) initiative. JSY, which roughly translates to “Safe Motherhood Scheme”, provides cash payments to pregnant women who deliver in public medical facilities, as well as the women health workers or ASHAs who accompany them. JSY was established in response to India’s persistently high rates of maternal and neonatal mortality, which account for approximately 20% and 31% of the worldwide totals.

February 13, 2012

As a small departure from our usual blog, we thought it would add some insight about the kinds of barriers that small global health startups face. These are the mundane, day to day issues that can actually make or break you in the end. While we try to be relentlessly positive about the exciting new technologies coming down the pike, sometimes one has to be just brutally honest about obstacles faced.

1. International shipping

Oh, let us count the ways that international shipping can sneak in and foil best laid plans--wet packages left out in the rain in Bali? check (zip loc is your friend) hemoglobinometers stuck in customs and then returned from the Ukraine? check. Bribes and fees? Our partners face them all the time.

Lillian Njuu says she’s willing to pay for a clean cookstove because of the heal
February 01, 2012

Lillian Njuu, pictured here, says she’s willing to pay for a clean cookstove because of the health benefits for her family

Do you know the leading cause of death in children worldwide? It kills an estimated 1.4 million children under 5 each year—more than malaria, tuberculosis and AIDS combined. Many will be surprised to learn that the answer is pneumonia, an acute lung infection that can be treated with antibiotics and prevented with immunization, adequate nutrition and simple environmental interventions.

"clean birth kit", Masaai, hemoglobin colour scale, solar maternal health
January 27, 2012

This is truly the 'last mile' as they call it. Here is a note from a recent trip to Northern Tanzania:

"Our (a M. D. and myself) work in Northern Tanzania was difficult but fulfilling. We were providing services in a Maasai area that people have to walk more than 10 miles to get medical services. Even in a car it takes 45 minutes because the roads are so bad. The government has set up a clinic out in this area, but besides building the building, they don’t really keep it stocked or staffed. Most people don’t even go because they can’t do anything. We had people walking over ten miles from up in the hills to come to our temporary clinic.

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