Lives of both the mother and baby are at risk for a variety of underlying reasons in poor and developing countries. Saving Lives at Birth #SLAB, a grand challenge for development has been launched to spread the word and to seek out innovators to resolve the problem.
From savinglivesatbirth.net, “The onset of labor marks the start of a high-risk period for both mother and baby that does not ease until at least 48 hours after birth. During this short period of time, 145,000 maternal deaths, 1.45 million neonatal deaths, and 1.2 million stillbirths occur each year.” There are lots of underlying risk factors for both the mother and baby which cause the mortality. The site lists them and here are a few to list: serious infections, hypertensive disorders, preterm birth complications and complications resulting from births placed too closely.
All these challenges are not new to medicine and are solved in advanced countries. So, I believe the challenge with the developing countries is 1) to develop low cost alternatives of the remedies and technologies 2) to disseminate information, knowledge and meds appropriately. I am glad to see in the last six rounds of the grand challenge, since 2011, they have received 3500 ideas/entries! This is great but as there are enormous number of underlying risk factors, we need to lot more of the talent working on these, hence I am blogging it is, as a Problem Worth Solving and spreading!
For this problem, I am not going to venture a back of the envelope solution, given the scope and underlying factors. Perhaps in a future post, when I talk about a specific factor, I might post a solution. But, for the techies like me, who are not the domain experts in any of the factors, it seems the low hanging fruit is to leverage tech and advance/access of mobile devices, to disseminate information and knowledge needed during the pregnancy and after. #ProWoSo
[Photo Credit: Thanks to aitoff via Pixabay]