Eight innovative ideas for transforming the field of maternal health are finalists in the online competition “Healthy Mothers, Strong World: The Next Generation of Ideas for Maternal Health,” sponsored by The Maternal Health Task Force at EngenderHealth and Ashoka’s Changemakers. They were chosen by a panel of expert judges as entrepreneurial solutions from local, citizen organizations that have the best potential to scale-up and achieve major impact.
These solutions, chosen from more than 200 entries, were submitted by community members of Changemakers.com from more than 40 countries in Asia, Africa, South, Central, and North America, the Caribbean, Europe, and the Pacific. The finalists are:
1. Jacaranda Health: Sustainable Maternity Clinics in Urban Slums – Kenya
2. Drishtee Maternal Health Care (Making It Sustainable: Investing in Developing Skilled Maternal Health Women Entrepreneurs) – India
3. Safe Delivery: Solar Suitcases that Save Mothers and Infants– USA
5. Wholistic Health for Mother and Baby, Reducing Maternal Mortality – Afghanistan
6. One Heart World-Wide – Mexico
7. Fatherhood, Care and Reproductive Rights – Brazil
Anybody who visits the Changemakers.com site can vote between now and May 12, 2010 for the three most innovative entrepreneurial ideas. By participating and voting, you will help identify and support a new generation of professionals who will sustain the growing momentum to improve maternal health and end the cycle of maternal death and disability.
The three winning organizations will each win in-kind prizes worth up to $5,000 allowing them to attend a Change Summit at the Global Maternal Health Conference 2010 in New Delhi this coming August. There, the Changemakers prize winners will discuss their ideas and projects, meet funding organizations and other innovators, receive training, and get feedback and advice from maternal health experts.
In addition, the Changemakers online platform will identify 16 young leaders from around the world, Young Champions of Maternal Health, to develop their innovative ideas during 9-month mentorships with seasoned Ashoka Fellows working in the field of maternal health. During this time, the Young Champions will have access to maternal health experts through the Maternal Health Task Force and resources to further develop their ideas and projects.
According to Dr. Ann K. Blanc, Director of the Maternal Health Task Force, “The maternal health field is at a critical juncture and a new generation of leaders is essential to achieve our common goal: the eradication of preventable maternal mortality and morbidity. These Young Champions have the potential to see that goal achieved in their lifetimes,” she said.
All Young Champions will receive a monthly stipend and 100% financial support for travel, accommodation, insurance, and visa costs. The innovations and projects that emerge from the Young Champions Program will be publicized widely.
“This group of finalists is exciting proof that a new generation of ideas is emerging that will accelerate the strong progress made so far in the field of maternal health,” said Charlie Brown, Changemakers’ Executive Director. “Going forward, experienced innovators will be energized by working with and mentoring young champions of solutions to end the cycle of maternal death and disability.”