Author Topic: Innovators from across Africa Aim to Improve Health Care for Mothers and Newborn  (Read 180 times)

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Innovators from across the African continent were among 50 finalists in Washington showcasing solutions to maternal and newborn care challenges in the developing world recently.

The African doctors, scientists and inventors took part in Saving Lives at Birth, an annual event sponsored by the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and other organizations.

Innovators and entrepreneurs had an opportunity to pitch their projects to a room full of their peers and experts, to meet mentors and find funding. They took questions about their proposals and explained their business models.

Wendy Taylor of USAID said the initiative has hosted over 650 innovators in the past six years.

Participants have “really built up a robust pipeline of over a hundred innovations, and so many of our existing grantees also come here," Taylor said. She is the director of USAID's center for accelerating innovation and impact.

Taylor said the grantees and this year's finalists displayed their innovations in an open-marketplace setting. They also interacted with each other and participated in workshops - in all, 280 different mentoring and partnering meetings.

Dr. Phelgona A. Otieno, principal research officer at the Kenya Medical Research Institute, came to Washington to present mThrive, an interactive mobile platform designed to ensure follow-up care and monitoring of babies delivered preterm, or prematurely.


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