September 28, 2018    Follow us on Twitter   View our videos on YouTube
83 Global Health Innovations Receive Funding
from Grand Challenges Canada
Photo: County Telegram 
SL@B Partner Grand Challenges Canada has awarded funding to over 80 organizations working to improve global health outlooks through scalable innovations. Roughly two-thirds of the grants announced were given to  innovators based in low-and-middle-income countries. The 83 ideas were selected from a list of over 450 applications (through independent peer review), including projects by social entrepreneurs, private companies and NGOs.

Each of the 83 grantees will receive an award of $100,000 to address health-related challenges in resource-limited settings. Examples of awarded innovations include: a vaccine preventing malaria infection in the placenta; a Litmus paper-like test for detecting bronchitis; low-cost, washable cloth menstrual kits; mobile phone-based tool for aiding health care providers in newborn delivery; a storytelling approach to improving maternal health; and a device used to fortify flour products with iron and Vitamin A.

The Importance of Maternity Care in Humanitarian Settings 
Photo: REUTERS/Wolfgang Rattay  
In a recent blog, Betsy McCallon, CEO of the White Ribbon Alliance, outlines an argument for Respectful Maternity Care (RMC) as a basic human right and integral component of comprehensive health services. McCallon describes the challenges faced by both pregnant women, and health providers and midwives delivering care in times of  crisis such as war and natural disaster. Resource constraints and security issues, according to McCallon, can further exacerbate mistreatment of mothers during childbirth.

"Receiving RMC has direct health outcomes, and is a key determinant for whether women seek recommended antenatal care and deliver their baby with a skilled birth attendant in the future," says McCallon. "Disrespect and abuse during pregnancy are a well-documented phenomenon. A woman's maternal health experience is directly linked to power relations, and broader contexts of instability in families, communities and nations." Components of RMC include the right to  privacy, education on rights and choices in a care setting, freedom from abuse, and dignified treatment.

5-year Report: Guiding the Way Forward
Photo: Survive & Thrive Global Development Alliance 
The Survive & Thrive Global Development Alliance has released a new report detailing its objected and measured progress between 2012-2017. A public-private partnership of professional health associations, private sector, country governments, and non-profit partners, Survive & Thrive seeks to improve health outcomes for mothers, newborns and children through clinical training, systems strengthening and policy advocacy.    
The Survive & Thrive 5-year report highlights significant achievements made by the public-private partnership since it was established in 2012 by the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), including the development of an evidence-based training methodology for maternal and newborn care, influence on global policy landscape for basic newborn resuscitation, and the mobilization of $120 million in contributions from all partners among other successes.  
The report also reflects on lessons learned for future maternal, newborn, and child health initiatives, such as:  
  • A well-implemented educational program is embedded in a strong health system.
  • Professional associations are critical allies for change and sustainability.
  • Data-based quality improvement process is essential to learn, improve and adapt care.
Click here to download a PDF copy of the report.  
Listen to this story from partnership beneficiary Tayeeba:
Childbirth and Blockchain Technology Merge in Tanzania 
Photo: Stefanie Glinski/AFP/Getty Images
A collaboration between Irish medical aid project AID:Tech and PharmAccess Foundation has led to the first birth to ever occur on the blockchain, a growing list of publicly linked digital records made famous by cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin and Ethereum. While initially a project funded to tackle controversies in the charitable sector regarding fair distribution of donations, it is now being leveraged to ensure pregnant women in Tanzania have access to  the appropriate antenatal care. Through the program, women are given a "digital ID," which allows them access to pregnancy-related necessities (such as folic acid vitamins) and also tracks their progress via data added to the blockchain. Three babies have been tracked from registration and initial appointments to birth since July, with additional tracked births expected in the coming months and years.

This collaboration marks an exciting development in the world of blockchain technology (where banking and finances have largely been the focus), and has attracted interest from private sector investors such as Enterprise Ireland, SGInnovate and Techstars.

USAID Photographic Exhibition "Stronger There, Safer Here"  
Photo: USAID/Thomas Cristofoletti/Ruom
A photo exhibit highlighting USAID's response to the Zika epidemic in Latin America and the Caribbean is currently on display at the Milken Institute School of Public Health at the George Washington University, DC. The exhibit "Stronger There, Safer Here" visually captures the work to reduce the impact of the Zika virus ---   particularly its effects on pregnant women and babies ---   chronicling the challenges met and successes realized along the way through the lenses of four photographers across 30 images.

To date, the USAID response has helped increase affected countries' capacity to control Zika and lessen its threat to the U.S. Over 6.6 million individuals have been reached in mass media campaigns describing Zika risks and prevention, with more than 9,000 health care providers trained to provide Zika counseling and prevention services. "Stronger There, Safer Here" will run from September 13 ---   December 12, 2018, after which it will relocate to Dulles Airport.

Click here to view an online version of the USAID Zika Photo Exhibit.
Apply Now to USAID's Development Innovation Ventures!  
Do you have a breakthrough idea to solve a global development problem? USAID wants to hear from you!  
Development Innovation Ventures (DIV)  ---   one of USAID's open innovation programs for testing and scaling creative solutions to global development challenges ---   is now accepting applications for tiered grant funding. The DIV program helps innovative new products, services and technologies advance from proof of concept to sustainable scale.   
DIV also provides evidence grants up to $1,500,000 to support research and evaluations that generate rigorous evidence of an innovation's impact per dollar and potential for expansion.

Click here for more information and to learn how to apply. 
Share: #DIVUSAID and #ApplyforDIV 
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